Signs of the Times - November 2015 - 8

By Steve Aust

The influx of quality, high-density-urethane (HDU)
signage projects received for our October issue
exceeded our available space. Here's an additional
shop whose expertise highlights the capabilities of
HDU signage.

Steve Aust
is ST's Senior Associate
Editor. A member
of its editorial staff
since 2000, he
emphasizes vinyl
graphics, architectural
and environmental
graphics, and 3-D
signage in his work.

Creating Signage Synergies

Synergy Sign & Graphics (Strasburg, OH) has existed
for 10 years, and it devotes approximately 30% of its
business to HDU-sign fabrication, according to Jim
Dawson, the shop's founder. Most are fabricated for
small businesses in his area, but Dawson noted that
some national retailers have also hired him. Prior to
producing HDU signage, Dawson said the shop used
PVC boards, but came to prefer HDU's ease of use
and versatility.
He said Synergy's HDU-sign projects were split fairly
evenly between original-design and existing-logo
projects. To design these signs, the shop uses a complementary software suite that includes Adobe Illustrator®
and Photoshop®, AutoCAD for Mac and EnRoute Pro 4.
Fabrication entails shaping the substrate on a MultiCam
1000 or 3000 CNC router, graphic applications with a
Roland DGA SolJet Pro 4 XR-640 UV-cure-ink, flatbed
printer, and building support structures with a MIG
welder and metal-bending tools.
The shop recently fabricated a rebus-style sign for
Park Street Plaza, a "farm-to-table" restaurant that
sources ingredients produced via local providers who
grow and raise produce and livestock organically. Dawson
said, "They wanted a sign that provided wood's rustic
qualities, but would last longer."
Using Coastal Enterprises' 18-lb. PrecisionBoard®
HDU, Synergy joined two panels with a chemical
adhesive, MIG-welded a steel armature for wall mounting, and installed J-bolts to join the sign to its apparatus.
The shop is also engaging in a molded-HDU sign

8 SIGNS OF THE TIMES November 2015

that Dawson describes as a "pet project" - a table
with an encased person (like Han Solo in The Empire
Strikes Back). Using a 3-D model, the shop created a
template of 2-in.-thick PrecisionBoard pieces, which
it fashioned on the MultiCam 3000. Then, Synergy
stacked the pieces, bonded them with adhesive, and
coated them with a mix of Coastal Enterprises'
TSF45, a textured-surface finish that may be applied
with a spatula, trowel or painters' mitt, and Modern
Masters' acrylic topcoats.
"It's just for fun; we'll probably end up using it as
a conference table or something," Dawson said.


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Signs of the Times - November 2015