Best Unique Signs of 2016

They're not just blowing smoke, they're not junk and they're very welcoming

First Place/Best of Show

Custom Craftsman Signs
Sevierville, TN
(865) 429-1934

Fred Frische
Tennessee Peddler Workshop
(865) 850-4829

Miller Iron Works
(865) 255-1000

Brother Zank
Custom Craftsman Signs
Angela Jackson and Alan Michael Dunlow

Zank describes this sign as a “steampunk-inspired creation.” For a vaping supply shop, that’s a perfect fit. The complex composition features a series of HDU gears and sprockets crafted with a combination of ShopBot CNC routing, Bridgewood saws and various power and carving tools, Sign Magic sculpting putty provides texture to rusted pipes and rivet heads. Outwater triple-ribbon LEDs illuminate various elements, and TJ Ronan acrylic paints provide colors. But that’s where ordinary ends. Copper tubing and a firehose funnel vapor to the train whistle, and gauges and meters liberated from antique machinery add to its mesmerizing aesthetic.
Second Place

Sign Art Inc.
Malden, MA
(781) 322-3785
JRM Hauling and Recycling

Green Works, JRM Hauling and Recycling’s collection facility in Peabody, MA, will undoubtedly have customers and passersby doing a double-take when they drive or stroll by bins full of supersized cans, bottles and newspapers. Sign Art fabricated the solid, hollow “recyclables” from 18-lb. HDU that’s shaped on a lathe and CNC router, primed and painted, and bedecked with 3M vinyl “labels” and airbrushed accents. The “bin” has green SloanLED modules hidden within its top rim to provide subtle downlighting, as well as uplighting from the perforated-metal base. The shop built the boxes and newspapers from aluminum formed sheet wrapped with 3M vinyl, and constructed the primary sign panel from an aluminum cabinet and letter returns with acrylic faces and internal SloanLED modules.
Third Place

Southwood Corp.
Charlotte, NC
(704) 588-5000
Tony Peloso
Southwood Corp.

David Candib
Carnival Corp.

Art Perper
Perper Design
Summerfield, NC
(336) 643-1279

Carnival Corp.
Carnival Corp.

Carnival wanted a “photo op” sign for its Amber Cove port in the Dominican Republic. Perper concocted 8-ft.-tall, transparent letters with LEDs set within recessed channels around their perimeters. Southwood collaborated with Perper to fabricate the 500-lb. letters such that they could bolted to each other and set within concrete bases. They formed the letters from aluminum tubing, channel, angle and ribs, and were engineered to withstand hurricane winds and seismic activity. Southwood painted the letters to match the Caribbean’s light-blue and green hues.
Honorable Mention

Superior Electrical Adv.
Long Beach, CA
(562) 495-3808
Things From Another World