Signs of the Times - December 2013 - (Page 8)

ST UPDATE By Steve Aus t News for a broader perspective SEGD Design Awards Ballparks and engineers united For 26 years, the Society for Experiential Graphic Design (SEGD) has recognized forward-thinking, environmental-graphic design through its Design Awards. Every year, I eagerly await news of the victors; the prevailing projects almost unfailingly underscore exciting new possibilities for outfitting the built environment with engaging, or even provocative, signage and graphic programs that cultivate a strong sense of place. All told, from among the approximately 150 submissions, 22 projects earned recognition from at least one of the panelists. We selected these projects because of their compelling signage. Congratulations to the winners, and we hope they provide some inspiration. Engineering Greatness So much for the preconception that government buildings are all function and no form. The General Services Administration (GSA), which coordinates the construction of federal buildings, set the tone with the construction of the new U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Federal Center South facility near Seattle. The GSA stipulated that the center earn highlevel LEED certification, and its design reflect the Corps' legacy of innovative civil-engineering construction. ZGF Architects devised the airy, expansive building; Sellen Constructions served as its general contractor, and Studio SC developed the program's environmental graphics. The fabricator, Trade-Marx Inc. (Seattle), became one of the fabrication finalists based on its bid, and earned the job through qualifications. Nic Chavez, who served as TradeMarx's project manager on the job, outlined several challenges. "When fabricating signage for any type of high-end environment, you're going to have very tight deadlines and very high standards," he said. "For the Corps' Center, we had very high LEED standards, which led us to consider new materials, and Studio SC's very ambitious graphic palette. We had to uphold those standards." One such innovative material, Richlite® paper-based, fiber-composite rigid material, displays the facility's ADA signage. It's made from recycled material, and, according to Chavez, is readily recyclable. "Richlite costs several times more than acrylic, but it's rugged as well as recyclable," he said. "It's not ideal for every situation, but, when 8 SIGNS OF THE TIMES / DECEMBER 2013 / LEED and sustainability are a client's goals, it's a terrific solution." Another bold, environmentalgraphic statement involved what Chavez called the "spine wall" in a common area. Using wood planks reclaimed from the Center's previous facility, Trade-Marx assembled them, routed nautically related text (construction of rivers, lakes and dams is central to the Corps' mission, after all) onto the surface, and then reassembled the panels onsite. Trade-Marx also fabricated and installed a handsome monument sign at the property's entrance, using a 36-ft.-long I-beam that was plasma-cut and installed horizontally across a concrete base. Professional photography arranged by Studio SC reveals that, when the late-afternoon sun rests low in the sky, the sign's letters create a remarkable reflection on the pavement below. Studio SC and Trade-Marx further collaborated on a bold entry-foyer statement that comprises a paintedorange wall that's bedecked with scrolling-LED screens that convey engineering and constructionrelated data that reflect the Corps' work. Trade-Marx also fabricated ½-in.-thick channel letters, with the ACE logo, "Building Strong," which were on installed 2.5-in. standoffs.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - December 2013

Signs of the Times - December 2013
ST Update
Technology Update
Vinyl Apps
Strictly Electric
LED Update
Software Update
Technology Review - Universal Laser’s ILS9.75 and ILS12.75 platform lasers
Technology Review - CET Color’s 500K X-Press flatbed, UV-cure printer
New Products
The Hands Have It
Digital Print Update
The First Neon Sign in America
The USSC Design Awards
Advertising index
Editorially speaking

Signs of the Times - December 2013