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Jay, Mike and Chris

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Hand-carved HDU ribbon panel with gilded incised lettering on 40-by-72-in. panel of 2-in. HDU board with a beveled edge. It’s single faced, finished with Matthews Satin acrylic polyurethane paint [www.matthewspaint.com], and 23K gold leaf. Outlines and secondary copy were hand lettered with 1 Shot enamel. “This sign is a good example,” says Mike, “of how the shape of the sign was dictated by the layout of the copy. I didn’t start by picking a cool shape and try to make the copy fit—I did the layout then the shape.”

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PVC board letters on an aluminum composite panel that was inlaid into the 37-by-53-in. HDU panel. Mike often does this to get a smooth background and to add strength to the sign panel. It’s finished with Matthews Satin acrylic polyurethane paint. Wine & Spirits panel is v-carved HDU board with a smalt background. The brick panel at the top is from Texture Plus.

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PVC letters on 61-by-96-in. SignFoam HDU panel finished with Matthews Satin acrylic polyurethane paint and clearcoated metallic gold, with black glass smalt background.

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CNC-routed 2-by-16-ft. panel of 2-in. HDU board with 22K gold leaf film on the letters and a smalt background. The font on the primary copy is Esoteric from LetterheadFonts.com.

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CNC-routed 2-by-16-ft. panel of 2-in. HDU board with 22K gold leaf film on the letters and a smalt background. The font on the primary copy is Esoteric from LetterheadFonts.com.

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RealGold 22K gold leaf film [www.realgoldinc.com] and high performance vinyl film; Hanna’s is Mike’s own font.

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22K gold leaf Florentine Realgold film letters over high performance vinyl film on 21-in.-by-16-ft. black aluminum composite panel with aluminum J-mold trim and OVC corners. The department logo and station number are digital prints.

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Hand-painted 67-by-84-in. sign on ¾-in. overlaid plywood sign with mahogany trim, finished with matte acrylic latex paint. The center art and lettering was hand painted with enamels. The Welcome panel uses ¼-in. aluminum composite letters on a 1-in. PVC panel, finished with Matthews acrylic polyurethane paint. The lobster is a VectorArt 3D clip art image, CNC-carved from HDU board, with details added by hand.

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Acrylic faces on custom aluminum cabinets, with LED lighting; 6-by-20-ft. overall. “This was fabricated and installed by Neolite Signs, which was my son Michael’s former company,” says Mike. “Jay designed the logo and did the paint work.”

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Jay did this design using the Conclave font from LetterheadFonts.com, then it was printed.

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Two 48-by-66-in. PVC panels over an aluminum frame with Realgold 22K Florentine gold leaf film lettering. Military logos are digital prints.

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Carved 3-by-4-ft. HDU panel with 1-in. tubular aluminum frame. It’s finished with Matthews satin acrylic polyurethane paint, and the lettering and artwork was hand painted with 1 Shot paint. The barn and wall are a rendition of the farm’s actual barn and grounds.

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“I drew this hand-lettered script,” says Mike, “then placed it over the circle that holds the secondary copy. At first that was the whole design, then Jay suggested the two green bars behind it to give it a base to rest on. It worked out well. It’s a digital print.”

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CNC-routed 32-in.-by-16-ft. panel of 2-in. HDU sign finished with Matthews Satin and black smalts, with an airbrushed blend on the main copy. The font is Esoteric from LetterheadFonts.com.

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This logo was designed using another of Mike’s custom fonts, then printed.

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Hand lettering and computer-cut 22K gold leaf Engine Turn film

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Mike and Jay Szczoczarz

By SignCraft Magazine

Posted on Monday, October 30th, 2017

I was ready to get to work, and I didn’t have a big interest in the computer. I was into hand lettering. Dad was working with the fire department and I went to work full time for him at the shop. That was around 1990. Mike: It was good—he taught me some of what he learned, and we both improved. We worked really well together.

Was it a retail location?

Mike: Up to then, we each had our own customers and we worked out of our home. I had always gone just by Mike Z, thanks to the spelling of my last name. So Jay went by Jayzee Designs, and he had his own following. We rented a small building that had been a gas station. It worked out well as our first shop. When the rent went up I decided to build a garage at my house for our shop. We worked out of that for several years.


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