Carved, gilded high density urethane board letters on 4-by-8-ft. oval SignFoam HDU panel with black smalts background
Carved, gilded letters on a 4-ft.-diameter HDU panel with a carved applied ribbon overlay, on a cedar plank background. The berries are carved HDU with painted, hammered copper leaves on a sandblasted woodgrain background. The sign is finished with Matthews acrylic polyurethane paints, and the cedar planks are stained with Sikkens wood stains.
Carved, gilded HDU letters on an HDU panel, sandblasted through the Grain-Fraim wood grain simulator, and mounted on a cedar plank background
Carved, gilded HDU letters on an aluminum composite material [ACM] panel finished with Matthews acrylic polyurethane paint. “That sign has been up for 20 years and still looks good,” says Danny.
Digital print on 30-by-96-in. painted plywood panel
Carved, gilded lettering on a cut-out HDU panel on an HDU sign structure that is about 42-by-60-in. overall
Hand-lettered 24-by-42-in. street banner with 23K gold leaf lettering and airbrush graphics. “That’s one of those treats,” says Danny. “It was all done by hand.”
“I often outsource monument structures to Peachtree City Foamcraft,” says Danny, “then focus on doing something unique with the graphics. If I can’t find one of their standard monument that works for the project, they’ll fabricate one to my design. The tooth-shaped graphic on this one is an aluminum pan face finished with Matthews acrylic polyurethane paint, reverse edge-lit with LEDs, with a digital print. The sign is 88-by-96-in.“
Double-faced sandblasted 2-in. HDU panel with a digital print for the heart graphic
Carved HDU letters finished with Matthews acrylic polyurethane paint on a 4-by-8-ft. sandblasted HDU panel
12-by-24-ft. printed billboard wrap
“This job is back for a repaint,” Danny says. “I will airbrush the pictorial, just as I did originally. It is cut-out PVC board, and it held up very well.”
“This is another Peachtree City Foamcraft monument,” says Danny.“Peachtree does a great job with the faux stone and brickwork. It’s very realistic and makes for an attractive monument. They also produced the graphics from my design. It’s 12-ft. wide and arrived ready to install. It worked out great. ”
Sandblasted HDU panel with a hammered copper graphic and copper leaf accents. The posts are cedar wrapped pressure-treated wood. “I learned post wrapping from Gary Anderson. It’s a great way to make posts look more substantial.”
“This was designed to have a 3D pictorial, but the budget wasn’t there,” says Danny, “so I used a digital print. It’s a good example of adjusting the production methods to fit the budget.The cutout carved HDU letters are on a black ACM panel mounted on a gray overlaid plywood panel. ”
Cut-out HDU letters on a 4-by-8-ft. sandblasted HDU panel, mounted on a cedar plank structure. The house and barn have carved details.

Profile: Danny Dean

By SignCraft Magazine

Posted on Friday, August 31st, 2018

Shop name:
Dynamic Signs Design

Shop size: 1200 sq. ft.

Staff: Danny and Sherry Dean

Age: 60

Graphics equipment:
Graphtec FC-5100 cutter
ULTRA-Flex Cloud-based sign making software

On Facebook as Dynamic Signs Design
Back in 1980, Danny Dean picked up a lettering brush and “realized I had found a job no one could take away from me.” He was living in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, area, where he learned the trade from a sign painter named Tom Carter.

In 1998, he and Sherry, his wife, took a vacation to Wisconsin and were taken by the beauty of the Northwoods region. It seemed like a great place to live and work, so they made the move. They’ve spent over two decades growing their business and making signs for the small businesses, resorts and farms there. On a busy summer afternoon SignCraft asked Danny about his work and his shop:

The shop and the market: I’ve been at my current location for about 20 years. Like everyone, I’ve had to grow and change with the times. Originally I was a sign painter and did everything by hand. I still do hand lettering and pinstriping, but it’s more of a treat than an everyday way of doing things. Today, most things need to be done quickly and effectively to be profitable.

Most of the time, it’s just Sherry, my wife, and me in the shop. Sometimes I hire a little help when it gets really busy or for larger projects. Our shop is about 30-by-30-ft. plus the office, which is where the computer and vinyl cutter are. It’s a humble little place, nothing special, but it works for us.

I have a wood shop and a vinyl cutter, but don’t have a digital printer. For me, it’s easier to outsource my printing and do the rest of the production myself. The printer is a big expense, and you would have to keep looking at ways to keep the printer busy.

Rice Lake is a town of about 8000—it’s not a big town. Most of my work is within a 50-mile radius of the shop. It’s a vacation area with a lot of outdoor activities.

There are a lot of lakefront resorts here, and when I moved here I thought that would be a great market. I’m doing more of that now, but I never really got as much work out of that market as I thought I would. Most of my customers are small business owners around the area.

In a small town, it takes time to gain people’s trust. But once you do, and they realize that you’re trustworthy and reliable and concerned about doing a good job for them, you’ve won them over.

I’ve found that how you talk with your customers really matters. If you take the time to explain your design approach and the materials you use in a sensible, knowledgeable way, you will gain their trust, and the rest is history. They become very loyal customers.

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