Letters are ¾-in. push-through acrylic; logo is 3-in. deep channel letter on composite lumber on 4-by-7-ft. welded aluminum frame with aluminum skin. The base is an aluminum skirt and the address is ¼-in. aluminum. It’s finished with Matthews Paint.
Push-through lettering; window and shutters are routed aluminum and HDU with painted gradient on polycarbonate, on a 7-by-12-ft. welded aluminum frame with aluminum skins. It is lit with warm white LEDs and finished with Matthews Paint.
Front and halo lit channel lettering on 5-by-10-ft. multiple aluminum cabinets. The bottom cabinet has polycarbonate faces and black vinyl graphics, internally lit with LEDs.
Reverse channel lettering on 4-by-6-ft. routed HDU board panel over an aluminum frame and finished with water-based acrylics and glazes.
Acrylic push-through lettering, internally lit with warm white LEDs and halo lit with amber LEDS on 4-by-14-ft. aluminum face over a welded aluminum frame. The rivets are routed HDU. It was painted with Matthews Paint using masks, faux finish techniques and some airbrushing.
Inlaid acrylic letting and logo on 4-by-10-ft. HDU routed panels. The posts are fabricated aluminum covers and caps over 4-in. pressure-treated wood posts.
The circle logo was routed from one piece of HDU board and finished with Matthews Paints. It’s mounted on 4-by-10-ft. aluminum panels over a welded aluminum frame skinned. The pylon was finished with Sophisticated Finishes Iron Metallic Surfacer from Triangle Coatings, followed by their Rust Patina.
3-by-14-ft. aluminum skin over welded aluminum frame with HDU trim. Matthews paint and neon lighting
Push-though acrylic lettering on 4-by-6-ft. aluminum cabinet; logo is multiple layers of acrylic with translucent vinyl graphics. Yellow edge is acrylic with a painted translucent finish and internally lit.
Reverse channel lettering and logo on 5-by-14-ft. aluminum cabinet with offset faces. Stripes on sides are composite lumber.
Acrylic lettering on 2-by-4-ft. unlit aluminum face over a welded frame. The fin is ¼-in. aluminum.
Brian Stoddard

Follow-up: Brian Stoddard

Monroe, Washington

By SignCraft.com

Posted on Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

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Shop name:
NW Signs

Shop size:
17,000 sq. ft.

Staff: 12

Age: 48

First featured in SignCraft:
May/June 2006

In most sign shops, there’s never enough space. Brian Stoddard had been running into that in a big way. His volume increased, he added staff—and eventually filled every inch of his 4000-sq.-ft. shop.

“Finally,” Brian says, “there were 12 of us in there. We were like rats in a maze. We were long overdue for a bigger shop. Before we moved we were losing jobs because we were 8 to 10 weeks out.”

Late last year, Brian moved into a much larger space—17,000 sq. ft. The work is going through the shop more smoothly and backlog is down to about six weeks.

The shop and staff size reflects on the change in Brian’s business since he was featured in the May/June 2006 issue of SignCraft. He’s still taking the same design-oriented approach in his work, but has moved more into electrical signage and bigger projects.

“We do a lot of electrical signs,” he says, “and we combine 3D and LED illumination on a lot of jobs. I’d say 80% of our work involves illumination now. In the past where we may have just done a storefront sign, now we do a complete façade treatment. We want to create a look for them—something unique.

“We just started a new division doing electric sign service and installation, too. It may sound strange, but we don’t have a digital printer. When we need that, we outsource it. A lot of our work doesn’t involve printed graphics—it’s a lot of routing and painting.”

With much more space, Brian has added a heated paint booth and a second welding station. Having the room to spread out is making the shop much more efficient. He’s added a full-time designer and a business development person to help with sales.

“Up until now,” Brian says, “most of our work came from referrals. Our website does a pretty good job, too. Now, though, we want to get more aggressive about bringing in new projects.”

Brian is now 48, which he says is “old enough that it’s not much fun being out in the cold up in a bucket truck anymore.” Most of his time is spent in design, sales and keeping the shop running smoothly. He’s looking forward to continuing to grow the business.

“We plan to stay with what we do best,” he says, “which is high-end design and fabrication. It’s an interesting part of the sign market, and it fits us well. We’re busy—and having fun doing it.”

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