(above) The sign layout on screen in the 2D stage of design. The red line on the
left and bottom indicated the edge of the substrate and isn't part of the sign.

I recently visited our mechanic to drop off some used motor oil (he heats his shop by burning recycled motor oil), and on the way out he asked if I could letter his door. Well of course I could. But lettering doors isn't what excited me right now, so I asked a few more questions, and found out that he didn't really care what I did, as long as his business name was outside the entrance.

Perfect. A potential guinea pig for my quest to get more of the signs I want to make, made. At the sign seminar in Canada last month, one of the challenges by the instructor to the students was to make a sign 'like the signs we want to be making', by the end of the year. This sign will be like that. I mentioned it in the last blog entry that if you were thinking about having a sign made, THIS was the right time to be calling... This sign will be a lot more expensive than what the mechanic will be paying if you get my drift.

The challenge I have is creating a fully dimensional sign using 2 software programs- one that I have been using for 20 years to create vector images, and to cut and print vinyl (Gerber). The other software (EnRoute) is much more powerful, but not as familiar to me- although it is the only software that creates relief and router paths for the Multicam CNC router that we use. So, I am starting in Gerber, and moving the vector artwork to EnRoute for some detail work and to toolpath for routing.

The learning curve is steep, and the file has come together slowly- but it's almost ready for relief (defining the height of each element).

My Craftsman wrench has acted as a model, bookmark and is almost ready to head back to the toolbox in the shop, as I close out the design chapter of this soon-to-be-great dimensional sign.

What I can't relate to you are the concepts still trapped in my head- the height of the wrench, the texture of the background, the sparkle of the gold letters.

I'll probably make 2 of this sign, one for D&S, and one for our showroom- for myself- and the first of several signs that will sell our work without saying a word.

Kelly just called for dinner, but I don't know if I can leave the office...

This project is the start of something fun!