The chosen design was created and scaled on the computer using CorelDraw, then production files and measurements were taken to start procuring materials for manufacture. All wooden portions of the sign were made from pressure-treated pine. The dimensional faces were CNC routed from solid sheet PVC. The client provided the shingles for the roof topper that matched those being used on their building remodel.
The boxed posts were constructed from 2-by-8-in. planks, skirted over 6-by-6 posts for the cores.
The main panel was built up with a 2-by-2-in. inner frame and covered on each side with ½-by-6-in. fence planking. The edge was framed with 2-by-4-in. stock.
All elements for logo, letters and panel borders were routed from ½- and ¾-in.-thick PVC.
The roof topper was constructed using 2-by-6-in. stock and decked with ½-by-6-in. planking. The dimensional asphalt shingles were provided by the client.
Dimensional sign panels were texture routed from ½-in.-thick PVC. Letters, logo and borders were attached with screws from the back of each panel.

What’s it cost to produce this freestanding sign?

Timesaving shortcuts from SignCraft readers

By Larry Elliott

Posted on Sunday, June 28th, 2020

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Two 6-by-6-in. 8-ft. PT posts: $30
Eight 8-ft. 2-by-8-in. PT: $60
Four 8-ft. 2-by-6-in. PT: $25
Eight 8-ft. 2-by-4-in. PT: $25
18 7-ft. ½-by-6-in. PT: $65
4-by-8-ft.-by-½-in. PVC: $110
2-by-8-ft.-by-¾-in. PVC: $40
450 assorted screws: $40
60 1½-in. roofing nails: $4
Six 3/8-by-6-in. lag bolts: $15
2-by-2-by-6-in. aluminum angle: $1
One quart total of satin acrylic latex paints: $20
Rags, thinners, sandpaper: $5
Total materials: $440

Client meetings/calls/ emails: 1 hour
Logo design: 2½ hours
Post logo on server: ¼ hour
Sketches: 2 hours
Final layouts: 3 hours
Production files: 1 hour
Lumber cuts: 8 hours
CNC routing: 6 hours
Assemble: 8 hours
Sand/prep: 6 hours
Painting/staining: 4 hours
Misc. labor, moving materials,tool setups, etc.: 2 hours
Load/unload: 1½ hours
90-mile round trip: 1½ hours
Total time: 46 ¾ hours
Not long ago, I received a call from a young veterinarian who had formerly worked at the local animal clinic where we have taken our pets for many years. She had recently married and moved to another town just a few miles southwest of us and opened her own clinic in a large facility in Bells, Tennessee.

She was planning a renovation of the building and wanted a nice sign to complement the style of the new facility. We were presented with some photos of their current building and some of another building they had seen that they liked. It was up to us to design and manufacture a double-sided freestanding sign to meet their needs.

I explained that we no longer install signs but could construct all the components so that their building contractor could assemble and install it onsite. We proposed to build the sign in six pieces: two posts, one double-sided main panel, two single-sided dimensional face panels and a roof-shaped topper.

A couple preliminary sketches were made based on the style of their proposed building remodel, and they liked what we presented. The sign size was limited to what would fit within a grass island between their parking lot and the street. We had to keep the total width, including the stonework that would be placed around each post, to eight feet or less.

We also designed the logo that would be used on the new sign and in their marketing, and posted it on our website for 24/7 access. I have found placing a client’s artwork/logo online saves us time when they need a copy to send for reproduction on products we don’t make. I’ve tried giving them CDs but they often ended up lost or damaged. We were spending time retrieving logos to send to the clients or a production company. Now they are kept on our server and are available anytime they need them. We provide versions of full color, black/white, PDF and in three sizes of JPG files.

I pre-assembled all the pieces in the shop and marked each one so that installation would go easily. There would be with no guessing as to which side of the main panel aligned with the predrilled holes of the posts. The components could be reassembled with screws and lag bolts.

None of the pieces were too heavy for one person to move around the shop. Although the roof topper and the post assemblies were too bulky for one person to handle, they were easily managed by two people during installation.

Our solution worked, because our client has since told us that she receives plenty of compliments on their new sign. It’s always good to hear that clients are getting comments on their sign!

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