Griffins Take Flight

Lawrence, KS's Star Signs creates environmental graphics for Missouri Western College
Star Sign Griffin 1.jpg

Scott Wagner is founder of Wagner Marketing ESP (Kansas City).
The mythical griffin comprises the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. In ancient mythology, it was considered a powerful creature -- the lion was considered the king of the beasts, and the eagle king of the birds.
For St. Joseph, MO’s Missouri Western State College, the home of the Griffins since 1915, the fictional beast provided a very real symbol of pride for the school’s recently completed, multi-purpose training facility. The structure now serves as the training-camp home for the Kansas City Chiefs, as well as the future host for the 2010-2011 NCAA Division II women’s-basketball championship.
Star Signs LLC (Lawrence, KS), which operates a 40,000-sq.-ft. facility that provides in-house, plastic- and metal- fabrication facilities, designed and built two, exterior logos that will greet the Chiefs, the school’s athletic squads and all future users. The shop contracted the project through Crossland Construction (Columbus, KS).
“Our intent was to create exterior logos that added maximum impact with minimum cost,” Star Signs’ Michael Schmidt said. “We were able to accomplish that.”
To begin the design phase, Star Signs’ referenced Crossland’s specified size, 14 ft. 5 in. x 16 ft. The shop recommended that the logos be fabricated from flat, 0.125-in.-thick aluminum construction, and developed the panels’ fabrication specs. Pre-determined, seam placement helped Star incorporate standard-size, aluminum sheet.

Fabricated fashioned custom panel shapes on Star’s MultiCam CNC router. This router allows such sign-fabrication options as 3-D machining, sheet-plastic fabrication, composite machining and non-ferrous, sheet metal machining, which the shop needed to complete the Missouri Western project. The shop took extra care to finishing the edges so that panels would butt together perfectly during installation.

Star prepped, primed and painted the aluminum with the specified gold color using satin-finish, Matthew acrylic polyurethane paint. To create the griffin’s black details, the shop printed direct-printed onto the painted aluminum using the Mimaki JF-1631, large-format flatbed, UV-ink printer. The shop likes the Mimaki because it offers the versatility to print on such uncoated substrates as corrugated plastics, acrylics and uneven or irregular materials – such as aluminum -- with a maximum resolution of 1,200 x 1,200 dpi.

Using a two-man, bucket truck, Star Installed the logos. They attached the aluminum panels to corrugated metal panels and sealed all penetrations with silicone.

Missouri Western and St. Joseph will enjoy recreational opportunities in the new building, which includes a climate-controlled, NFL-regulation, grass indoor field, locker room, weight room, training room, classrooms and office space. The griffins will proudly “guard” the facility.
“We were very pleased with how the signs turned out,” Schmidt added. “They’ll be a great accent for the complex.”

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