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Metal Fabrication

Sports Medicine Major

Sign’s cabinet a challenge to fabricate

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To give Somerset Collection North’s Palace Locker Room a sporting chance at competitiveness, Jon Greenberg & Assoc. Inc. (JGA), Southfield, MI, created a look to maximize the mall shop’s third-floor exposure. According to Intercity (Centerline, MI) owner Roy Schafer, the routed sign’s cabinet proved challenging to fabricate because of its curved shape. Although the sign had one post for support, it was also suspended from the ceiling’s steel beams with threaded rod. One of the sign’s most unique elements is its sports-ball logo face, fabricated by Visual Graphics (Madison Heights, MI). "Originally, the client wanted to reproduce [the sports ball logo] using Kodak Duratrans. But Duratrans is better for four-color output," Visual Graphics President Jerry Nienstadt explains. Applying vinyl behind translucent acrylic was also considered, but the special vinyl colors needed weren’t available. Painting the acrylic face was ruled out because light would still come through and not yield a completely opaque, black background. So Visual Graphics instead backed up the acrylic face with photographic Kodalith negatives — like those used in screenprinting. The company mounted these negatives to the acrylic face using optically clear adhesive. For the colors behind the logo’s balls, theatrical gels were applied. Not only did this unusual method work, it also fit the client’s extremely limited budget. Such creativity is paramount when performing shopping-mall sign work. "Every little nook and corner is visible and inspected," Schafer says. "Mall people are very fussy when they do punch lists on signs. Although landlords and tenant coordinators keep changing criteria, interior mall signage is challenging but fun."

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