Author Archives: Dan Sawatzky

Dan Sawatzky's shop, Sawatzky's Imagination Corporation, is in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada. Dan shares his experience in his Sign Magic Workshops on 3-D sign making, and his Sculpting Workshop.

Combining traditional skills and today’s technology

I turned 65 this past year—an age when most think seriously about retiring. Not me! I enjoy what I do far too much…. Read More

My dimensional sign making roots

Sign makers I meet often comment about how they would love to do the kind of work we do in our shop instead… Read More

Creating a theme and a package for an ice cream parlor

We have an extremely fun job currently in progress in our shop. A regular client of ours recently asked us to work up… Read More

The challenges of concept design

I often get asked if we charge for design. The answer is always “Yes!”—with one caveat. We do charge upfront for design, but… Read More

A landmark sign for a pet hospital

Not long ago, a veterinarian from a neighboring town dropped by our shop. She wanted to rebrand her business with one of our… Read More

Sell the subtle aspects of branding

One of many lessons I’ve learned from visiting Disney theme parks is the importance of branding, which is the way a business creates… Read More

Help your clients get free social media marketing

One of the most fun aspects of our business is that we never know what the next project may be. The only certain… Read More

A sign for the chicken house

I often get asked if we ever make signs for “the real world.” The answer is yes, though the bulk of our creative… Read More

Design a winning trade show booth

I’ve heard it said many times that creating a sign or display is much more difficult when we do it for ourselves. I’m… Read More

A very special sign

We put our hearts into every sign we tackle in our shop, but every once in a while a project comes along that… Read More

New ride signage creates a park’s new theme

Even though our client has a fully built-out amusement park, which was founded in 1910, our recent project for them was very much… Read More

The details make a difference

The 2017 Sign Invitational is now history. The event was a little smaller this year with a flurry of last minute cancellations. I… Read More

Themed projects are easier to build in-house

For many years we built the bulk of our projects on site. Most theme park projects are large, and being built primarily of… Read More

A steam train sample project

The Sign Invitational Challenge is happening again at the International Sign Association Show [April 19 to 22]. Competition will undoubtedly be friendly but… Read More

Glazes work magic on 3D graphics

Last issue we showed several name plaques we have created for the participants of our workshops through the years. While they were a… Read More

What’s in a name?

Each participant in the workshops we host receives a custom-made dimensional name plaque. A large display of them greets our guests as they… Read More

Another Sign Challenge project

More than two decades ago I was fortunate enough to be at a gathering of passionate sign makers from around the world. The… Read More

Diesel-powered mechanical sign painting marvel

When the idea of the Sign Challenge was first discussed, Peter and I were eager to enter. Samples are such a critical part… Read More

The attraction signs of Scallywag Bay

The signs for Scallywag Bay are some the most creative and fun of all the signs we’ve ever done. Each sign for the… Read More

Building the mighty Kraken

The legend of the much-feared Kraken is indeed true—at least at Scallywag Bay Adventure Park in Trinidad. But it isn’t quite like everyone… Read More