2009 International Sign Contest: Electric Pole/Pylon Signs

A gallery of the category's winners


This double-faced, 22 x 8-ft. sign (and palm tree) comprises the main ID, which features rusted, galvanized, corrugated metal salvaged from a junk pile; the middle “subhead,” with exposed noviol-gold neon; and a Daktronics full-color LED message board. The plane that’s crashing through the sign is handcarved from PVC, which was airbrushed and handpainted (the propellers rotate, too). Custom neon channel letters spell out “Bamboo Bernies,” and exposed noviol-gold neon outlines the main ID. The support pole hides inside the faux-palm tree base.


Nothing says “structural steel” better than, well, structural steel. River Steel, a West Salem, WI-based structural specialist, partnered with La Crosse Sign Co. to build a support structure for the halo-lit (using blue, Agilight LEDs) channel letters, mounted to oversized, flat-cut letters that spell out the company name.

A MultiCAM router cut the letters. The cabinet comprises push-through Acrylite® acrylic. The top portion of the single-faced sign measures 23 ft. long; its overall height is 14 ft.

The entire project entailed a new logo design, engineering and partnering with the customer on the fabrication, painting, mounting, wiring and installation. Fredrick said he presented initial pencil sketches to the client, which sold the concept.


Hanover, VA is known for its locally grown “Hanover Tomato,” which the Hanover Village Shopping Center asked Ad Vice Inc. to incorporate into the design for this 20-ft.-tall, double-faced, cantilevered pylon. Ad Vice carved the 3-D tomato from EPS foam, then hard-coated, painted and uplit it from light sources concealed in the identity cabinet. The “Hanover Village” copy is routed and backed with white acrylic on a bowed, aluminum face and internally illuminated. Individual, acrylic tenant panels, with reversed graphics, are also backlit. A vine edging up the pole cover carries out the tomato theme. A recessed light source accents the light-green, vertical reveal.


For this 12 x 11-ft. pole-pylon sign for a hotel restaurant, the “Innovation” copy is routed aluminum that’s backed with white Plexiglas acrylic. “Gather,” “Dine” and Celebrate” are also routed copy backed with Plexiglas acrylic and 3M dual-color film #3635-222 and internally illuminated with GE fluorescent lamps. The square modules/accents, which comprise white Plexiglas faces with 3M vinyl digital printed to match the corporate colors, are internally illuminated with GE white LEDs. Clear Plexiglas mounted over the modules are bordered by 3M white reflective vinyl #680-10. The cabinet and base are painted with Matthews paint.