What’s it cost to produce this 26-by-36-in. 3D sign?
By Chris Bourgeois
Posted on Saturday, August 26th, 2017
HDU board: $225
Mahogany molding: $120
Acrylic letters and VHB tape: $110
Gooseneck lights: $150
Total materials: $1170
Design: 2 hours
Assemble sign panel: 1.5 hours
Paint panel and graphics and install graphics: 3 hours
Installation: 1.5 hours
Total time: 8 hours
I had done work for this customer in the past, so when they bought an historic building for their offices they came to me for the sign. The realtor’s brother, a graphic designer and friend of mine, had done his logo which was being used across all of their branding. The realtor wanted a sign that fit with the building and delivered a very professional look, so I came up with this design.
It’s 26-by-36-in. and double-faced. The sign face is 18-lb. SignFoam HDU board [www. signfoam.com]. The “hat” on top is a slab of HDU board, and a mahogany crown molding hides the bracket. I have found mahogany and HDU board to be extremely stable in an exterior environment.
Once the hat was assembled it was a very heavy-duty unit. The HDU sign panel doesn’t weigh much, but I wanted the sign to be strong and durable. I’m very careful about the quality of what goes out of my shop, both the design and the construction, because especially in our business, your work is such a reflection on you. It’s your advertising. You can’t risk putting something mediocre out there.
One of the issues I’ve resolved has been finding a universal, dependable primer. I wanted something that dries fast, works on all the materials I typically use, sands well and is compatible with more aggressive topcoats like Matthews Paints’ acrylic polyurethane paint [www.matthewspaint.com]. Sherwin-Williams Extreme Bond Primer does all of that. It dries to touch in an hour, and I can finish coat the next day. It bonds to metal, HDU board, wood and most other sign materials. It’s almost like it was formulated for the sign industry.
Even though the gooseneck fixtures come with a black finish, I scuff sand them then spray the entire fixture with Matthews polyurethane. The factory finish just won’t hold up nearly as long as the Matthews. If you don’t paint them, they will be fading and chalking in six or eight months. By painting them, I know it will still look great in six or eight years—and even more.