What’s it cost to produce this 30-by-60-in. entry sign?
A little dimension and an interesting panel shape adds a lot of appeal
By Chris Lovelady
Posted on Friday, October 28th, 2016
One sheet of ¾-in. PVC board … $173
One sheet of ½-in. PVC board … $129
2-by-4-ft. of 1-in. HDU board … $70
Paint, adhesive, etc … $75
Total materials … $447
Typical markup on materials is 70 to 100%.
Router-cut components … 60 minutes
Carve lion … 120 minutes
Finishing … 135 minutes
Assembly … 105 minutes
Total time … 7 hours
In a world full of flat signs, adding a 3D graphic and/or letters can add a lot of kick to a sign. It gives you that extra bit of visual appeal that draws and keeps people’s attention.
Another way to help set a sign apart is to give it a unique shape. Cutting the sign panel to an interesting shape is one of those things that doesn’t take a lot of time but also adds interest. It sure beats a plain old rectangle. We cut the panel to shape on over half of the signs we make—whether they are flat signs or 3D projects.
I used both of these approaches on this 30-by-60-in. sign for a church ministry outreach center. I wanted to do a sign that was interesting and appealing, yet practical to produce at the same time.
Durability was important, too, so I chose materials and finishes that I knew offered longevity. This sign should see many years of use before it needs refinished or replaced.
I cut the letters and the components of the lion’s head on a CNC router, but I hand carved the details. I knew the look I wanted and it was easy to carve once the layers had been cut to shape. The overall depth of the carved panel is about 2 1/2 inches.
It’s easy to use a lot of dimension and cool effects when there’s a hefty budget for a sign, but more often than not we’re faced with a limited budget. Adding a 3D graphic and/or letters can be a great—and viable—solution.