Sign Blog

Showing category "Project Showcase" (Show all posts)

The Phantom Sticker Project has.... Taken Off!

Posted by Mark I on Tuesday, January 21, 2014, In : Project Showcase 
In November, I purchased a 'flying camera', named a DJI Phantom 2 Vision. When it arrived, I immediately noticed that it did not come with adequate markings to identify control switches, and there was some room for some personalization.... So I set to work and designed a set of stickers with all of those things, and more. I mentioned it to a few other pilots in the forums, and with their support it has blossomed into being a big part of our day here at the sign shop...

This map is the reason f...
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New sign for an old customer, well, an established customer

Posted by Mark I on Thursday, December 5, 2013, In : Project Showcase 
George Barker has done a lot of things right in his life, with business ventures having turned to gold at his touch- and he's always happy when I see him.

That was no different when we spoke a couple of weeks ago about making a striking new sign for the wall outside of his low profile business frontage on Graves Avenue.

Sky Top Trading Company makes very cool briefcases... and not the kind that just popped into your head, these are cooler.

So we have the privilege of building a sign that will at...
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A special trip for one of our maps:

Posted by Mark I on Monday, October 7, 2013, In : Project Showcase 



Last week, we shipped a map to a customer that ordered online, with a personalized imprint that advertised his cause... runstairs.com.   Sometimes, we take a look at interesting websites that come across the desk at the sign nerve center, and this one is worth a few minutes of your time- talk about interesting people doing fun and interesting things!

Dan is 32 years old, and has the goal of running up the stairs of the tallest building in each of the 50 states, as he travels for his work. As I...
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Don't have one? Make one.

Posted by Mark I on Tuesday, October 1, 2013, In : Project Showcase 
That seems to be our mantra many days and for many projects- whether its a widget for a theater projector, or a school project, or a sign solving a previously undiscovered problem... or this week, a bumper sticker display.

I spent a few minutes waking around Ace Hardware last week with the manager, Lou, trying to find the perfect plastic tray to keep a new sticker stacked neatly and displayed for sale at his store. You see, just that morning I had finished the artwork on the Mountain Strong s...
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Time to Freshen Up Your Face

Posted by Mark I on Tuesday, August 20, 2013, In : Project Showcase 
It's been cooler at night, although the days have been blistering hot! (from my perspective at 7600') and the kids are back in school. It's rolling into fall, and opening a window that many folks will let pass by as we get an opportunity to freshen up the look of your business while the summer revenues are still available for business improvement.

Make a phone call today and lighten your load next spring, after you step outside your shop door, outside your truck door, or just hold your busines...
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Back from the alien abduction

Posted by Mark I on Thursday, August 1, 2013, In : Project Showcase 


It seems, based on my irregular blog posts that I occasionally might be getting abducted by aliens? No, just constantly moving, and unfortunately not in the blog circle. I have been fairly regular about posting to our facebook page with projects that are happening now, so if we're installing at 6am, you might get to see it before you're even out of bed! Right.



This week, we finished another quasi dimensional sign for Timber Creek Homecrafters- which combined the vintage distressed finish on MD...
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An old arcade game is 'made'

Posted by Mark I on Wednesday, April 24, 2013, In : Project Showcase 
My goal with this project, is to separate the pair of 80's electronic games and mount them in individual cabinets that give a more dramatic appearance, and allow them to stand alone... I love the 80's, and amusement parks, and this seemed to be a perfect assignment!



We started with two Mr Vend games, in reasonable condition. After going through them to clean and get everything working as it was intended, we designed a cabinet that wouldn't take much floorspace, and that would resemble a penny ...
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Aspen & Evergreen Gallery

Posted by Mark I on Monday, March 11, 2013, In : Project Showcase 

This project is moving right along on schedule, as our friends and accomplished local business folks James & Tamara move back into their original location of this great gallery on East Elkhorn. 

Tamara is very concise with what she likes, although she says she knows what she doesn't like better, and is open to things she may not have thought about... Music to the sign builders ears!

We're 3 layers into the paint chapter of their dimensional signs that will hang on the wall adjacent to the doors...
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Valentines Day- behind the scenes

Posted by Mark I on Thursday, February 14, 2013, In : Project Showcase 

When most people hear that I make signs, they generally attribute how busy we are to how many signs we have completed along main street in our town, and that's not the way it works.

You see, signs are a lot more places than along the street! This morning, a couple of projects that are completely out of sight from the general public, but a major part of our time and income. One of those projects was a job for the YMCA, as we brought the new Y logo and branding to their administrative offices. E...
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Don't settle for a rectangular sign!

Posted by Mark I on Tuesday, February 5, 2013, In : Project Showcase 



Why just make a rectangle?

We didn't.

In fact, not long after the school district inquired about 'a sign for the driveway', they left with custom shaped driveway signs, that matched the window stickers on the doors to the schools to announce the ongoing surveillance at the school campus.




For not much more than a few rectangular driveway signs, they have an easily recognizable system of notices that should help in the effort to deter bad guys from causing mischief, or mayhem before it starts.

Is ...
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Birth of a Sign: HD Ranch

Posted by Mark I on Thursday, January 31, 2013, In : Project Showcase 

...so a man calls, and needs a sign. He has an idea, and a business card that 'he can email me' to get the logo from.



Above is the print of the logo he sent: a horse head (faintly in the background) behind the HD text, and quite small. We discuss the idea and cost, and he says to go for it. A few days later, I send him a concept, and he OK's that, now onto fabrication. Once routed and carved, it's time to paint, and several days later the sign is complete. From the marginal artwork provided, t...
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Remaking Santa

Posted by Mark I on Thursday, January 3, 2013, In : Project Showcase 


James Frank, a talented local photographer, captured the high resolution images of the Santa and Sleigh display for it's renewal.


Every time I drive through downtown Estes during this time of year, I glance up at the seasonal display on the Knoll and see the reindeer and sleigh that were recreated and reborn in our shop. That's the way it is with so many signs and projects in our community, which is a great source of pride, and strong encouragement to do better on every job!

That pressure, to d...
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Christmas Eve projects

Posted by Mark I on Monday, December 24, 2012, In : Project Showcase 



Working on Christmas Eve?

The perks of being self employed: unlimited wealth, flexible schedule, and ah, sometimes staying at work until 2am, or putting another layer of paint on a horse on Christmas Eve..... but I wouldn't trade this for anything.

The horse is headed for Durango, Colorado later this week, and must be ready. You can only put so many coats of paint on each day, so it's handy that the sign shop is only a long stride from the house... It will be ready to go on time...




The other pro...
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Once you feel the face of this sign, you'll never go flat again

Posted by Mark I on Monday, December 17, 2012, In : Project Showcase 


It's really so true- you get what you pay for. In signs, I've never seen this old mantra be more true. The cost of course is directly related to the cost of finishing and materials. What is easy to overlook at the time that we'll discuss your sign, is how it will travel the marketing road over the next few years.... Your audience will see and understand your sign whether it's flat or dimensional, but will they put their hand to the face of the sign just to 'see what it feels like'?

That's the ...
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Changeable letter sign for LOVE messages

Posted by Mark I on Wednesday, December 5, 2012, In : Project Showcase 


So, today we updated the sign panel at the Feed Supply Store on Moraine Avenue that in a previous life, said TOURIST GOODS.

Angela, the owner, takes a healthy hands on approach to running her stores and wanted to be able to keep a fresh message in front of her customers.... so this is what happened (photo below).





We put up our traditional "For a Good Sign Call..." message, took the photo, and then they added a more important and timely message of love and thanks to the firefighters that have in...
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A quick real estate FACELIFT

Posted by Mark I on Thursday, November 15, 2012, In : Project Showcase 



BEFORE (above)          
                                                        AFTER (below)




"Quick" in that the agent said to go ahead yesterday, and today the changes were installed.

You'll recognize this sign if you've driven by it... very colorful.

After today, it's not as colorful as it once was, but a little woods-ier, and a better fit to the project- "Luxury Cabins".

This project is located on the Spur (Colo Hwy 66) and has great exposure, so this sign change will be well noticed, and w...
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A House Sign; A gift idea for the family who has everything...

Posted by Mark I on Wednesday, November 14, 2012, In : Project Showcase 
It's the time of year that we usually see a few house signs that are intended to be a special gift, which works great if you don't wait until the last minute!

This week we installed a house sign (that wasn't a gift) on a home that has been undergoing some fall projects, and we tend to think the sign is the icing on the cake. Sandblasted signs are pretty timeless, and in this case fit perfectly with the field stone and wood siding that had been freshly painted.





The numbers are readable (and ref...
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We had lunch at Ed's Cantina, and you know what that means!

Posted by Mark I on Monday, October 29, 2012, In : Project Showcase 


John is putting in the last lag bolts that will anchor the steel frame that connects with the sign panel for a secure, worry free installation.



Leveling it down onto the frame, then attaching the anchor screws that will prevent the sign from shifting in the wind, or earthquake... you never know.
 
 
The signs are in, and the workshop table is clear for the next project!

Things went along very smoothly, and the experimental mounting bracket worked very nicely... Steel mounting bracket that will sec...
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T Minus 12 hours

Posted by Mark I on Friday, October 26, 2012, In : Project Showcase 



We've rescheduled the Ed's installation a couple of times, and tomorrow it will come to life! After laying out the letters destined for the high wall, we'll pack everything up and load up early tomorrow before the traffic descends on that little parking lot adjacent to the restaurant. After a quick survey today it appears that everything we have planned will 'slide right in' and make for an easy installation.... I'm making fun of myself there- one day about 18 years ago I told a friend that w...
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This Cantina sign is getting OLD!

Posted by Mark I on Friday, October 5, 2012, In : Project Showcase 

You'll see how this sign became old in an afternoon, shortly...

But first, the weather:



I know, it's just a trace, and it will be gone once the sun hits, but it happened. For several weeks the Continental Divide has been bathed in regular snowshowers, bringing the crisp white snowy peaks back to brilliant life (the dingy remaining snow from last year had almost completely blended in with the rest of the mountains). And so it goes, officially tromping back toward the inside work season. 
 

And now...
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Red or Green on that CANTINA sign?

Posted by Mark I on Tuesday, September 25, 2012, In : Project Showcase 


The bottom layer coming off the Multi Cam router, as it hogs away the HDU substrate to reveal the new life of this formerly plain-jane panel.
 
 

 ..that's right, Ed's Cantina is at it again- setting the pace for a fresh, clean look. They developed a contemporary logo several years ago and they have given us the opportunity to bring it to life!

It's the step that so many businesses never make, from a neat logo that looks 'dimensional' on paper with shades or color blends - to a fully 3 dimensiona...
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Refreshing an old friend

Posted by Mark on Tuesday, August 7, 2012, In : Project Showcase 

When a sign leaves the shop, it's like a little piece of us is gone. I mean, we've just spent the last few days or weeks with the sign, and the landscape of the shop is always changing. Sometimes we gauge personal events by what sign was in the shop at the time, for example:

Kelly: "Mark, do you remember when the last full moon was?" (A common question Kelly might ask me)

 Me: "Sure, dear. The last full Moon was the day before we delivered the Copeland sign" (Right, there's no relation to the d...

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Sign Guys Pull a Bank Job

Posted by Mark I on Sunday, July 8, 2012, In : Project Showcase 


Down with the old! Trevor is removing the 23" high, 23kt gold letters that make up the previous name of the bank. The arrangement was pretty convenient here, with Trevor leaning over, and I coming up from below to tackle the removal. Installation would work just as well the next week when we came back to install the new name for the world to see.
 
 
 
This one started out right: the Vice President (2 VP's actually) sat down and planned the sign updates with us for their name change a full month ...
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The Pony Story

Posted by Mark I on Tuesday, June 19, 2012, In : Project Showcase 

We started this project with a sketch- like every other project we do. A simple, pencil sketch that sheds light on what has come to mind for your project, but doesn't reveal too many details.... and allows us to embellish the plan from the time we discuss your ideas and work out a budget to the time it ends up on your wall.

Today at 5:45am we started the installation, and thanks to planning our attack last night, we had the job completed before downtown Estes Park was inundated by tourists and...
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Foam everywhere

Posted by Mark I on Monday, June 18, 2012, In : Project Showcase 

We definitely go through stages in our shop of techniques or styles, and I'm not sure if that's because of the fluctuation in economics of the town, or my design perspective, or the alignment of the moon... This week, we seem to have quite a few HDU projects in progress.

HDU is an acronym for High Density Urethane, an engineered sign product that is commonly referred to as 'foam'. For many years we have been Sign Foam customers, as it was the only product available to us locally. This month we...
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Trevor throws a wrench in the works

Posted by Mark I on Tuesday, June 12, 2012, In : Project Showcase 

The wrench is about 4' long, ready to hang in Butch's Garage, or above his bed, or in the kitchen, or bathroom- or wherever his wife allows him to hang it!
 

Trevor has struck up a great relationship with a guy that I've known for years though the fire department and fire museum- and this guy knows how to fix a carbureted motor.... and with a '68 Cadillac, Trevor needs to know a good old-school mechanic.

Trevor was trying to think of a way to say thanks to Butch for his generosity and kindness d...
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Copeland Institute coming together

Posted by Mark I on Tuesday, May 15, 2012, In : Project Showcase 
A retreat center outside of Estes Park approached us several months ago about a sign... and after addressing the sign code in Boulder County (!) and the required red tape, this sign has been coming along exactly as planned. The sign will be installed by the customer, so all we have to do is build, assemble and deliver!

Our favorite part- building!

We should be delivering this sign tomorrow (5/16)- this is how it's been developing:


In the rough cut stage of routing, this sign was a little longer ...
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Another marathon routing session

Posted by Mark I on Monday, April 23, 2012, In : Project Showcase 


Just 30 minutes into the project, the router is roughing out the design.
 
 

 The fire radio went off at 430am the other morning, then we were canceled just after I got dressed- so then the decision: Get undressed and back in bed and think about what there is to do today and not get back to sleep? ... or just get started on the day?

I sat down at the 'Nerve Center' to finalize the router programming for the Vows wedding store sign, and then started up the trusty MultiCam router. By 630am the rout...
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Getting a 2 pound diamond to fit into a sign

Posted by Mark I on Thursday, April 19, 2012, In : Project Showcase 

That is a big Diamond. We'll fit the sign around it.
 
 
If it was really a diamond that weighed 2 pounds, we probably wouldn't be having this conversation! The business owner provided a glass gem to fit her Wedding Store sign, that will be carved Sign Foam (HDU). The ring will jut out of the face of the sign, and it will be another showcase sign project.....

For this project, we'll fit the stone that was provided into the ring setting and bring some bling to this storefront- this is one of many ...
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The best view of a sign

Posted by Mark I on Monday, April 16, 2012, In : Project Showcase 
... is the one we see, as the sign is being installed!



Although I'm sad to have it leave the shop (we sold a couple of jobs by showing off the finish of this sign in the shop), it's time to get pushed out of the nest and fly by itself... The Generations Salon sign is up and working hard- the silver text face was a perfect choice for this generally shady spot, as the metallic letter face now takes the light from the sky and results in brilliant, easy to read message from the street several hund...
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Valentine Surprise

Posted by Mark I on Thursday, February 16, 2012, In : Project Showcase 

A special Valentines Gift- I was afraid she'd see the mini chocolate heart and miss the real gift... She did not miss this major bathroom change!


This year, there seemed to be an abundance of people remarking that Valentines Day was a Hallmark Holiday and it was taking on a general conspiracy theory sound to it, so I fought back and did my little part against the conspiracy and made a gift for Kelly instead of just buying a card as usual.

I admit that I used Valentines Day to give something uti...
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'Tis the Season

Posted by Mark I on Monday, December 19, 2011, In : Project Showcase 
Last week I was wrapping up about 5 hours on the MultiCam router cutting parts of various projects- and the neighbor stopped by while the router system was still running.

For a couple of weeks she has been suggesting that we put together a 'DITTO' sign for her porch. (I think she's trying to avoid decorating her whole house- and she has a good sense of humor). I had agreed to it, although I had been avoiding it since the router hasn't run for several days, and I'm always in a hurry when it is ...
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Quick! We need a sign!

Posted by Mark I on Wednesday, December 14, 2011, In : Project Showcase 
That headline is misleading. They didn't rush me, I offered a rush delivery to meet a self imposed deadline of holiday accommodations traffic at the Y.

There's been some development going on at the YMCA of the Rockies- Estes Park Center. Over the last couple of years, they have built, and remodeled and set a new standard for any-size-group facilities for conferences or even small family trips. This Y is impressive, not like the neighborhood YMCA you may have visited while growing up. Here, the...
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Signs of Life, Inc   Estes Park, Colorado   (970) 586-6995 

... meet the signmaker


Mark Igel It all started in 1992, I was working full time as a Paramedic and made a few signs on the side. The word got out, so I made a few more... People will pay me to make signs? I was in! This business is an exciting creative outlet that has allowed me to use cutting edge technology and release the ideas from inside my head- while offering effective signs to our customers. Today alongside my wife Kelly, we're doing our best to raise 7 children from 8-17 years old. I continue to volunteer with the Fire District, and enjoy Scouts with our sons.