Best Commercial Building Signs of 2011

A giant watermelon, a train, a boat ... what more do you need?
2011 Cat 8 1st Place A.jpg


Jay Gordon
Doug Evans
Wes Bingham
Blackout Signs & Metalworks
San Marcos, TX
(512) 738-6715
Lynn Wilkerson
Great Big Signs
Kyle, TX
(512) 796-4041
Luling Watermelon Shop
For more than 50 years, Luling, TX has played host to the Watermelon Thump, which pays tribute to the community’s long tradition of watermelon farming with a parade, live music and melon-eating and seed-spitting contests. Wilkerson drew the typeface by hand to resemble what he’d seen on vintage seed catalogs. Great Big Signs also engineered the sign and handled permitting.
Blackout Signs & Metalworks formed, fabricated, sculpted, painted and installed numerous components. They constructed the whole watermelon and slice with a welded steel frame and EPS-foam that’s sprayed with polyurea hardcoat and painted with 1 Shot® enamels Blackout hammer-formed and shaped the leaves from 0.063-in.-thick aluminum and painted them with 1 Shot. These were mounted to a 1-in.-diameter, round steel, handformed vine armature. Marcario Delarosa cut the letters using 2-in.-thick thick HDU, and Blackout coated it with Coastal Enterprises’ FSC-88 WB primer/filler prior to painting it with 1 Shot and mounting it to a 1-in.-diameter, curved frame.
ARTfx Signs
Bloomfield, CT
(860) 242-0031
Lawrin Rosen
Pete Stockmal
ARTfx Signs
Whistle Stop Café
Paying tribute to the city’s historic rail station, Windsor, CT’s Whistle Stop Café serves such gourmet fare as osobucco veal tortellini and red-pepper tilapia with an emphasis on local and regionally produced ingredients. ARTfx enhanced the restaurant’s ambience with this 3.5 x 4.5-ft. sign. Rosen and Stockmal designed the sign using CorelDraw and Gerber Omega software.
The 3-in.-thick, oval body comprises 0.125-in.-thick aluminum faces welded to 0.063-in., aluminum sides. Aluminum tubes project the sign off an aluminum-plate, corner bracket. The 1.5-in.-thick lower panel was similarly fabricated.
The 5-in.-thick train was built from layers of 18-lb. Sign*Foam, and spraypainted and decorated with custom-coated, green Gerber vinyl. The main panel’s lettering was routed on the shop’s Gerber Sabre from ½-in.-thick acrylic, and then painted and decorated with layers of Gerber vinyl. After having been painted, the main panel was decorated with ¼-in.-thick stripes of Gerber light-rose and custom, green vinyl. The lower placard’s letters were also decorated with applied Gerber vinyl.
Dan Sawatzky
Imagination Corp.
Chilliwack, BC, Canada
(624) 823-2216
Dan Sawatzky
Self (promotional use)
Sawatzky’s shop and property feature an array of off-the-wall signs designed to impress prospective clients. He designed this nautically themed beauty using SA Intl.’s EnRoute Pro 4 software, and built it using Coastal Enterprises’ 30-lb. PrecisionBoard HDU that’s formed on the shop’s MultiCam 3000 CNC router and fortified with a welded-steel frame. He painted it with acrylic paint, and fabricated the small details using Abracadabra Smooth & Sculpt two-part epoxy.