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Fergus, ON, Canada
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» The Letterville BullBoard » Letterhead/Pinstriper Talk » 2016 Sign Challenge

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Author Topic: 2016 Sign Challenge
Dan Sawatzky

Member # 88

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Last fall Peter & I were in Denver to help out with an EnRoute workshop. Also in attendance was my good friend Jim Dawson from Ohio. Over a couple of meals Jim expressed his desire to do another SIGN CHALLENGE soon - just for fun. A few years ago he and I participated in a challenge to create a mechanical fish. There were about twenty fish created that I knew of and they were very pretty awesome. The purpose of the challenge was to inspire others (and ourselves) to create a showpiece for our studios. The piece I did in that challenge won us some awards (in sign contests) and also brought us some pretty cool (and big) projects. So my time spent making that piece certainly provided good value.


Jim and I had some discussions over a couple of weeks and it was decided that this time there would be a few guide lines. The finished piece had to fit inside a 2' x 2' x 3' tall box and be displayed on top of the box at the show. There would be no moving parts allowed. The theme was Rube Goldberg and had to have the word 'SIGN'. The challenge would be an invitational (this year) and the end results would be displayed and judged (by all trade show participants) at the ISA show in Orlando. To allow for some real learning and sharing those who entered had to be able to attend the show personally. They had to ship their pieces to the show (and return) on their own dime. Twenty invitations were sent out. Fourteen sign makers responded YES in the tight time frame allowed. Here's the list of

The idea is that the ideas from the first sketches through construction and to the finished piece are shared freely with other participants and publicly. SignCraft signed on as a sponsor to promote the event. MultiCam offered display space for all the pieces in their booth at the show. Precision Board also offered to be one of the sponsors.

Peter and I are both taking part. With a slightly slower than usual fall (and a busy spring already on the books) we pushed hard to get our pieces underway early so we weren't fighting the deadline at the end. Peter piece is looking fabulous. He is doing a sign android. A few more days of work and he will complete his piece.


I chose the theme of 'Sign Odyssey' Two historic sign maker woes are addressed... that of the sign snapper and the mechanization of the sign business. My sign maker is an astronaut, and is taking sign orders while the robot arms protruding from the rocket do the actual painting. Aliens are lined up around the rocket to get their vehicles lettered, striped and flamed. Jenessa gave me a hand with my piece and in the photo she is doing some of the finer painting touchups.


Peter and I have both had a blast creating our pieces and we've shared emails and phone calls of many of the other participants. There are going to be some very, very creative entires without a doubt. I look forward to seeing each one in person at the ISA show in Orlando!

-grampa dan

Dan Sawatzky
Imagination Corporation
Yarrow, British Columbia

Being a grampa is one of the the most wonderful things in the world!!!

Posts: 8738 | From: Yarrow, B.C. Canada | Registered: Nov 1998  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jean Shimp

Member # 198

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Wow, I can't wait to see that! That's a lot of super talent in one place.

Jean Shimp
Shimp Sign & Design Co.
Jacksonville Beach, Fl

Posts: 1266 | From: Jacksonville Beach, Fl. USA | Registered: Nov 1998  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dale Feicke

Member # 767

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Some awesome stuff, Dan! "mechanical marine life"....Jules Verne would definitely approve.

And that space theme....some really "far-out" stuff, for sure!

Love it.........

Dale Feicke Grafix
714 East St.
Mendenhall, MS 39114

"I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me."

Posts: 2963 | From: Mendenhall, MS | Registered: Apr 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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