Best Unique Signs of 2011

These unconventional beauties turn heads and deliver strong advertising messages
2011 Cat 11 1st Place.jpg


Young Electric Sign Co. (YESCO)
(303) 375-9933
(Vinyl Graphics)
Fairpoint Graphics
(303) 412-9280
Kreg Lyles
Wild Ivories
Selling Price
The proprietors of Wild Ivories, a Denver dueling-piano bar, promise “an interactive, action-packed sing-a-long that will get your heart racing and keep it going.” YESCO’s glitzy entry sign upholds its end of the hype. John Cifarelli, YESCO Denver’s router specialist, fabricated all structural and decorative elements. The body comprises 0.125-in.-thick aluminum with a satin-finish, gold Wrisco laminate.
The piano face entails 0.125-in.-thick aluminum painted with DuPont’s glossy white with first-surface, digital graphics printed on 3M cast vinyl with a Mimaki JV-3 solvent-ink printer. The signface’s black keys were flat-cutouts made from ½-in.-thick PVC that’s painted with glossy, black DuPont paint. YESCO’s paint crew coated the returns with DuPont gold metallic paint. The crown is part of the same flat-cut-out curved panel that houses the reverse, pan-channel letters. The panel is painted three colors, and features gold vinyl overlays decorated with 3M’s Scotchcal™ Electrocut™ #7725-131 satin-gold film. The scroll work was built as a flat-cut-out panel on a 90" radius with a 1-in.-diameter, square-tube, curved frame for support. Victor Casarrubias handled the sign’s welding and construction, and Mike Benzie cut and applied the vinyl elements.
To illuminate the piano’s perimeter, YESCO installed Litetronics MB-301 cold-cathode, frosted-white, 3W bulbs, which provide a 2,700K light temperature. Installation Manager Bill Ferguson and his team installed the sign with an Elliott G8 bucket lift that’s attached to an International MaxxForce 10 truck.
Fairpoint Graphics produced the digital graphics on its Epson Stylus Pro GS6000 with 3M’s Scotchcal™ Electrocut™ 7725-10 cast vinyl.

Western Neon
(206) 832-7738
(Channel Letters)
Sign Faces LLC
(800) 800-3223
Pablo Guerrero
Amigo Arts
(425) 443-4444

Dick Blick Art Materials
Guerrero devised the system using Rhino 3D, and fabricators formed a 3-D paint tube from Sheffield Makrolon® polycarbonate in a Universal thermoformer. Neon sculptor Kelsey Fernkopf formed intricate, 3-D neon using Tecnolux 12mm sunflower, ruby-red, cobalt-blue, emerald-green and 6500K white neon, powered by Transco 12,030V/30mA, normal-factor transformers. The fabrication team decorated the metal components with Spraylat Lacryl and Mark I paints, and the plastic faces are decorated with 3M cast vinyl.

Dimensional Innovations
Overland Park, KS
(913) 384-3488
Brian Mirakian
JC Hendricks
Brian Silvey
Dimensional Innovations
Pittsburgh Penguins
Selling Price
As judge Mike Chawk noted, “This project summarizes the direction signage will head in the 21st Century.” Numerous software programs were required – Adobe Creative Suite, SolidWorks and AutoCAD – to develop this program at the Pittsburgh Penguins’ recently opened Consol Energy Center. It was completed for Trib Total Media, a team sponsor, and engages fans through a series of 18, 42-in. NEC LCD screens that display a screen saver that features a hockey player skating across all the screens. As fans approach, a motion sensor features such content as stats and photos of the Penguins’ all-time team. In the arena’s central column, three, 52-in. LCD screens show a virtual Stanley Cup that seemingly floats on the screen. Through an iPod-style interface, viewers can enlarge or shrink the Cup, or access highlights and information about the Penguins’ three Stanley Cup championship seasons.

Art Display Co.
Capitol Heights, MD
(240) 765-1400
Shalom Barnes Associates
West End 25