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“The pastor came in wanting a carved sign,” John says, “so I came up with this. It was all carved from a 4-by-8-ft. sheet of SignFoam HDU board [www.signfoam.com] on a CNC router, then finished with acrylic latex paint.”

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Cut vinyl film on 4-by-8-ft. overlaid plywood panel

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Digital print on cutout 4-by-8-ft. overlaid plywood panel

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Both signs are cut vinyl; the hand plane and the car graphics are digital prints

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Vinyl lettering with graphics on logo hand painted with 1 Shot paint [www.1shot.com]; vehicles are digital prints. The logo panel and the vehicles are overlaid plywood cutouts on the 8-by-16-ft. overlaid plywood background.

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Digital print on cutout 4-by-8-ft. overlaid plywood panel

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4-by-8-ft. router-cut overlaid plywood with a digital print. “The owner wanted a 3D sign but didn’t have the budget for full 3D,” John says, “so I told her we could use CNC cutout overlaid plywood letters to add a little dimension. She sent me a photo of a little pot, and I digitized it in Illustrator then had a digital print made.”

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CNC-routed HDU board with texture added using a Dremel tool; letters finished with 23K gold leaf on acrylic latex background

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Logo design. John drew the king character then digitized it.

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Cut vinyl film on 3-by-5-ft. overlaid plywood sign finished with enamel

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Cut vinyl on overlaid plywood finished with enamel

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Hand cut vinyl with a fade on the yellow letters done with Krylon spray paint

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Digital print on cutout 4-by-4-ft. overlaid plywood panel

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Cut vinyl film on 4-by-4-ft. overlaid plywood sign finished with enamel

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Cut vinyl film on 4-by-4-ft. overlaid plywood sign finished with enamel

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Cut vinyl film

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John Deaton

John Deaton of Ages Brookside, Kentucky

By SignCraft Magazine

Posted on Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

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John Deaton was first featured in the May/June 2000 issue of SignCraft. In 2012, John switched from signs to freelance illustration for a few years, and still offers this work and royalty-free clip art via his website www.thetoonfactory.com. But today he’s back in the sign business, working out of the 16-by-30-ft. shop next to his home.

So were you completely out of the sign business while you were doing the illustration work?

No, not completely. But three or four years ago, business had dropped off badly around here. The economy had dried up, and it seemed like every 20 feet there was somebody with a vinyl cutter. People were selling stuff so cheap that there was just no way to compete.


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