Corel Fully Rebrands as Alludo

The new brand is centered around the idea that Alludo software liberates companies from everyday constraints to reimagine where, when, and how we work.

Corel, a global technology company helping people work better and live better, announced today that it is undergoing a full rebrand, including a new name: Alludo. Alludo had more than 2.5 million paying customer relationships in more than 130 countries across diverse industries this past year.

Leveraging a thirty-five-plus-year history, Alludo is behind award-winning, globally recognizable brands including Parallels, CorelDRAW, MindManager, and WinZip. This rebranding is part of Alludo’s commitment to reimagining the future of work—not just where people work, but also how, when, and even why they work.

“This is a watershed moment for us,” said Christa Quarles, Chief Executive Officer of Alludo. “We’re reimagining the way the world works by not just writing a new chapter, but a whole new playbook. This new playbook reimagines what work feels like—for our customers and ourselves. We believe in working better and living better, and we want our solutions to deliver just that, boldly and intentionally. That’s why we’ve decided it’s time for a new brand.

“We’re delighted to share this news with you today, by welcoming you to Alludo.”

It’s impossible to overstate how much the world has changed since Corel was founded in 1985—and Corel, too, has evolved beyond its original brand with the acquisition of several software brands.

AlludoThe name Alludo (pronounced “ah-LOO-dough”) represents a cohesive identity and is a nod to the company’s purpose: to empower “all you do.” That’s because Alludo’s software products have a broad impact that gives knowledge workers freedom and flexibility to work, dream, and live in the best way for them. With this purpose in mind, the company will continue to focus on growth—organically and through mergers and acquisitions.

Alludo is reimagining the world of work and innovating to make every day easier so its customers—and its employees—have the freedom to devote more time to what matters most. In line with its new vision for what the new world of work needs, it recently gave its employees the freedom to choose where they wanted to work from, and 95 percent opted for working remotely.

The Alludo parent brand respects the identity and purpose of its world-renowned sub-brands while tying them more closely together. Now, all employees are united under one brand, no matter what they’re working on or where they are in the world.

Customers can expect the same great products and service from the brands they love supporting all they do with renewed energy and thought leadership.

—Press Release

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Justin Green Memorial Service and Art Exhibition to Begin Oct. 7

(DSGN)CLLCTV (Cincinnati) will soon host a roster of events and exhibitions to honor the life and artistic legacy of Justin Green,  who among other things, was the “Sign Game” cartoonist for Signs of the Times for many years.

Justin, whose alter ego in his comics went by Binky Brown, created the title and artwork for his own funeral service, a testimony to his humor.

The events begin on Oct. 6 at 6 p.m. at (DSGN)CLLCTV’s Studio — where Justin’s youngest daughter Julia Green is CEO/principal — with a memorial service and the opening of the art exhibition of Justin’s work for family and friends. This event is RSVP only.

The public memorial and exhibition, entitled “Binky Brown’s Funeral Pyre” by the deceased, will run Oct. 7 through Dec. 31 at (DSGN)CLLCTV, 4150 Hamilton Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45223.

The comprehensive exhibition will feature Justin’s comics, signs, sketchbooks, painting, sculpture and original art, including Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary, Justin’s first book publication. 

“Designed to be an immersive experience, the exhibit includes his drawing space, signshop, personal shrines and many other surprises,” reads a portion of the description on the (DSGN)CLLCTV website.

Justin’s widow and fellow cartoonist Carol Tyler is involved with the events and exhibition along with his daughters Julia and Catlin Wulferdingen. Donations are now being accepted to help cover the cost of materials and preservation/presentation of the work. For more information, email

The painting on the right by Justin, an imitation of Jan Vermeer’s “The Artist’s Studio” (on the left), used for a cover of Signs of the Times, displays Justin’s warmth, talent, appreciation for classic art and more.

For more information on the services and exhibition, click here.

For more on Justin’s life, click here.


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STS Inks Introduces New DTF Printer

DTFSTS Inks, a global leader in the wide format, industrial, and household inkjet ink market, announces the launch of the STS XPJ-1682D 64-inch Direct to Film (DTF) printer from Japan. The first units of the product will be distributed to dealers in the United States in September 2022.

The XPJ-1682D DTF printer has a staggered dual-head design that provides ultra-fast print speeds. It also produces smooth gradations while delivering high-quality printing even with reduced resolution. The printer has SAi’s Flexi DTF Edition RIP Software bundled with Flexi DTF Editor.

The XPJ-1682D also features automatic bi-directional alignments, a user-friendly touch panel, added LED lighting, and an upgraded media feed flange that allows operators to load media and exchange multiple roles easily and quickly.

Specific features of the XPJ-1682D DTF printer include the following:

  • STS DTF Inks (CMYK Lm Lc White White)
  • Built-in color sensor for auto bidirectional alignments
  • Improved feed mechanism corresponding to a wide range of media
  • MUTOH Status Monitor (MSM) checks printer status in real time and print history
  • Media flange allows for easy media loading
  • White ink circulation
  • Nozzle area selection
  • Drop Master 2 Technology

“The printer’s features are designed specifically to increase user friendly operation and maintenance while continuing to offer high production, high-quality output,” said Shahar Turgeman, who founded STS Inks in 1999. “The printer is paired with STS’s DTF ink, which of course offers users excellent color gamut and outstanding durability.”

With the first units of the product being distributed to dealers in the United States in September 2022, customers should contact their dealers directly.

—Press Release

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Fisher Textiles Launches Enhanced Printable Black-Back Fabric Media

Fisher Textiles’ GF4030 Nirvana Plus is an excellent fabric media for soft signage hanging banners, SEG, pillowcase displays, and retractable banner stands.

Fisher Textiles, a leading supplier of fabric for digital printing, is pleased to introduce GF4030 Nirvana Plus, an enhanced printable soft signage black-back fabric developed to significantly decrease smoke exhaustion during the transfer process.

Nirvana Plus has 30 percent more fabric on the face than other printable black-back media. The additional fabric increases vibrancy of printed colors and absorbs heat during paper transfer.

GF4030 Nirvana Plus is a two-in-one solution for printable fabric with a built-in liner and a finished back, providing cost savings in material and labor.

It is ideal for hanging banners and retractable banner stands because of its printability and finished coated backside. Other uses include frontlit SEG and pillowcase fabric displays with no liner.

GF4030 Nirvana Plus weighs 9.5 ounces and is stocked 126 inches wide. It is flame retardant.

A 5-meter-wide treated version of this fabric, DD9930 Nirvana Plus, will be available soon for direct and UV-curable printing.

—Press Release

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Fleet Restoration

Photo courtesy of Wrapmate.

Kraus Restoration is a restoration contractor based in New Jersey that specializes in recovering residential and commercial property that has suffered from water, fire, smoke, or mold damage.

When Kraus Restoration started looking for someone to wrap its growing fleet of vehicles—which includes Ford Transit vans and Kia Souls with more vehicles on the way—they happened upon Wrapmate in an Instagram ad.

“We were looking for something that we didn’t have to do much of the leg work on,” says Corey Kraus, owner of Kraus Restoration, in a video for Wrapmate. “I was really hoping for a company that would just listen to what I had to say and convert that into a graphic that we were looking for and transpose that onto a vehicle.

“I wanted to be able to depend on a company that was going to take care of that for me.”

Wrapmate, a nationwide vehicle wrapping company that designs, produces, and then pairs businesses and individuals with wrap installers, was happy to take on the project.

Wrapmate CMO Javier Lozano, Jr., says the company’s business model is perfect for busy companies like Kraus Restoration. “It creates efficiencies for the company because now the fleet manager or the business owner doesn’t have to manage three different projects on top of their job—they can talk to one company that’s going to handle their entire graphics, all of the design, all of the installation/coordination, and all that fleet manager has to do is drop the vehicle off at the specified location,” he explains.

Photo courtesy of Keystone Wraps.

Wrapmate customers start by using a vehicle wrap calculator that provides a quote based on the vehicle and desired wrap coverage.

From there, Wrapmate has the customer fill out an intake form to gather more information—including the vehicle’s VIN number, pictures of the vehicle to catch any existing imperfections or decals/wraps that need to be removed, and design details like logos. If the customer doesn’t have a logo, Wrapmate will even design one for an extra fee.

“That intake form helps us alleviate the pain from both sides,” says Lozano, Jr. “It gives us a starting point.”

Next Wrapmate will have a conversation with the client about their vision for the wrap—color schemes, stand-out details, etc. Using the Adobe Creative Suite—with heavy use of Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop—Wrapmate gets to work on designing the wrap. They will create a mock up on the vehicle to show the customer, who then has up to three rounds of revisions on the proposed wrap design.

“The customer is in control,” says Lozano, Jr. “They can experience the entire process of making sure they’re putting together the best wrap for their brand to stand out from the crowd and promote their business 24/7/365.”

Photo courtesy of Keystone Wraps.

For the Kraus Restoration fleet project, Wrapmate put together a design featuring the brand’s colors of blue, white, and black.

A dynamic graphic of water in motion is also included on the Kia Souls in the fleet. Large symbols representing fire, water, and mold run along the side of the vehicles, along with the words “water,” “mold,” “fire,” and “smoke,” to make it clear what the company does.

The wrap also includes the company’s contact information—its Instagram handle, phone number, and website address.

“We try to make the wrap do two things—one, cover the brand in so far as it stands out so that it has ‘pop,’ it has great color, and it has something that draws attention,” says Lozano, Jr. “And then two, make sure it has a very simple call to action. Sometimes that call to action can literally be just a phone number and then a QR code. Other times it can be a website.

“We try to keep the call to actions very simple and not use graphics that are difficult to read.”

“I highly recommend putting a QR code on the wrap because everyone is now accustomed to scanning QR codes,” continues Lozano, Jr., who says the codes can go directly to a phone number or even a website that can include more information than you can fit on the wrap.

Photo courtesy of Keystone Wraps.

Once the design has been approved, Wrapmate works with a company that does all of the printing for them to help maintain consistency across factors like color. For the Kraus Restoration job, the wrap was printed on 3M™ Controltac™ Graphic Film with Comply™ v3 Adhesive IJ180CV3. A 3M™ Scotchcal™ Gloss Overlaminate 8518 was applied.

The wrap was then shipped to a Wrapmate installer located near Kraus Restoration—Keystone Graphics in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, which specializes in vehicle wraps, privacy films, architectural films, wall murals, and retail graphics.

“Our installers know exactly how to install that wrap because we give them exact instructions on how each section is going to be placed on that van, truck, car, or whatever the vehicle is,” explains Lozano, Jr. “It makes it very seamless.”

Wrapmate builds out its network of installers in a number of ways. Sometimes it reaches out to installers, especially if it likes their work.

Wrapmate also has a collaborative relationship with 3M, and the vinyl company has recommended and encouraged its certified installers to join the Wrapmate network.

Finally some installers reach out to Wrapmate on their own and are then interviewed for eligibility. (Note: Interested installers can sign up at

Photo courtesy of Keystone Wraps.

“[Installers] want to join the network because it’s another way for them to add some revenue into their business,” explains Lozano, Jr. “At the end of the day, these installers are motivated to want to be in our network because they don’t have to go acquire the customer. They don’t have to design the actual vehicle wrap. They just have to install.

“We’re giving them a customer that is actually ready to move forward.”

For Keystone Wraps, the ease of the process was one reason they decided to join Wrapmate.

“Wrapmate offers a seamless process for the client, and as a result, we found we could work easily with their team,” says Patrick Mulreaney, owner of Keystone Wraps, who is a 3M Preferred Installer and has over fifteen years of experience in the industry. “Their wrap designs are well thought out and appeal to the installer, as the body lines of the vehicle are taken into account when creating each design. So not only will it look great on paper, but it will look just as good in real life when installed.”

Kraus Restoration dropped off its fleet vehicles at Keystone Wraps to be wrapped in phases since it’s a 24/7 business and couldn’t afford to have all of its vehicles off the road at once.

Mulreaney says each wrap took about one day to complete.

“We are always sure to take the extra time to mock up the graphics onto the vehicle prior to installation to be sure both the driver and passenger sides are placed the same and follow the same body lines of the vehicle,” he says. “This helps to ensure both sides are symmetrical and sets us up for consistency across all of the vehicles in the fleet.”

Photo courtesy of Wrapmate.

Kraus Restoration is already reaping the benefits of its newly wrapped fleet. “Showing up to a job site now with our vans just looks professional [and] it feels right,” said Kraus, in a Wrapmate video. “A customer who sees us when we pull up knows who we are.”

Lozano, Jr., says it’s this branding awareness that’s one of the main benefits of a company using fleet graphics. “When they’re sitting in front of a customer’s house, for instance, other neighbors are going to be seeing that brand,” he says. “From a marketing standpoint, it helps them generate inquiries and leads.”

It’s also a form of advertising that is always “on.”

“There’s no other more cost-effective and cost-efficient way of marketing your business than a vehicle wrap right now,” says Lozano, Jr. “A vehicle wrap in a town can get as much as 70,000 impressions in a day—and that’s literally pennies on the dollar.”

—Ashley Bray

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GMG Color Set to Dazzle at Labelexpo Americas 2022

GMG Color is a leading developer of high-end color management solutions, focusing on standardizing color management workflows across various printing methods and substrates.

GMG Color, the developer behind a suite of market-leading color management tools for the print, label, and packaging industries, will be showcasing predictive multi-channel profiling and ink-saving tools at the Labelexpo Americas 2022 event.

The event, being held September 13-15 at the Donald E. Stevens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois, brings together printers, converters, brand owners and suppliers across the labels industry to explore the latest technologies driving commercial success.

Exhibiting on booth #5102, GMG Color invites attendees to explore its pioneering GMG ColorServer bundle solutions, complementary software designed to drive ink and time savings through smarter color management automation.

Marc Levine, director of Business Development at GMG Color, comments, “Labelexpo is always a fantastic opportunity to connect with the market and start those important conversations. It’s no secret that label printers are under pressure from rising ink costs, labor shortages and complex color and substrate combinations compounded by shorter product cycles.

“At the expo, we’ll be sharing some of the most core elements of our color management software range, including enhancements to our GMG OpenColor solution, the world’s only platform for accurate predictive simulation of the overprinting effects of spot colors. We will also highlight our GMG ColorServer bundle, a collection of software technologies designed to help our print customers directly tackle some of their most challenging pressure points.You can also drop by the Epson Americas booth, #5821, and see Prototype Proofing from GMG live in our partnership with the Epson SureColor SC-S80600 printer.”

On its Labelexpo booth, GMG Color will encourage visitors to get hands-on with printed color-accurate prototype samples, produced with its latest range of solutions. The samples demonstrate that with the right color management and proofing software in place, pin-sharp precision across varying substrates and inks can be made simple.

“We look forward to engaging with our label printing customers, new and old, at Labelexpo,” adds Levine. “One of the greatest challenges they face today is to create more with less. More throughput and color accuracy, in less time or with fewer resources—that’s where the GMG solution range, powered by automation, truly shines. Labelexpo is a fantastic opportunity for label printers to see the benefits for themselves, with our expert team of color precision professionals on hand.”

—Press Release

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Print Shop: Going to the Wall!

When it comes to wall graphics, 702 Graphics likes to use either landscape photography images or geometric patterns.

When it comes to successful print jobs, 702 Graphics of Las Vegas, Nevada has their clients covered! This full-service, large format printing shop not only specializes in fleet graphics, retail graphics, and wall murals, but they also provide interior and exterior signage, banners, tradeshow display, and other graphics. They offer design, print, and installation services to businesses in Las Vegas, but they also expand their reach by providing service to some nationwide companies by printing and shipping graphics and sourcing local installers to do their installations there.

Dan Lang and his son Brennan have operated 702 Graphics in Las Vegas, Nevada, since 2008. The company was founded as RC Racing Decals back in 1992 by Rick Cobb, son of legendary racer Dick Cobb. When Rick made the move back to North Carolina, the Langs purchased the assets of the business and rebranded it as 702 Graphics. Today Brennan and his wife, Rachel, are working to maintain 702 Graphics as a successful family-owned and operated business for years to come.

702 Graphics operates in a small industrial complex in Las Vegas. “Our original location was at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in North Las Vegas, where we worked very closely with Shelby American,” says Rachel Lang. “In late 2013, Shelby American moved their facility closer to town, just a few minutes away from the Las Vegas Strip. We followed them into town and are now located about five minutes from Las Vegas Boulevard.”

The large format print shop’s origins started in the racing world, and they continue to wrap racecars.

Keeping momentum going for a successful business is always important—and, as you know, doing so can be quite challenging. Impressively 702 Graphics continues to maintain the quality their clients have come to expect while operating with fewer employees that they’ve had in the past. They’ve previously had as many as ten employees at once; today their work staff includes four full-time employees and one part-time installer. (Note: Their team consists of designers, installers, and operational staff.)

Brennan Lang points out that everyone at the business is all-hands-on-deck. “Everyone pitches in to help!” he says. “It’s not uncommon for our designers to be installing too. We’ve found that providing designers with installation experience helps them be more conscious of design choices that make the install process smoother and provide a better finished product.

“Our operational staff runs the day-to-day business, finances, and customer relations, but you’ll also see them in the back of the shop installing from time to time.”

Wrapped ceiling lightboxes.

This all-for-one approach is greatly benefited from the unique open workspace layout that they use at the shop. “When you walk in the front door, you walk straight into our design, printing, and production room,” explains Brennan. “We’ve had multiple office configurations, and we’ve found that it is important for our customers to be able to come directly into our print room and see the work being done firsthand.

“We also have an install bay in the back of the shop which is just big enough to fit a fifty-two-foot semi-truck trailer.

When the Langs took over the operations of RC Racing Decals, they inherited a sole Roland DG SOLJET. The family knew they were going to need a bigger selection of equipment on their production floor. “They have since added a second SOLJET, an AJ1000i, a GX-640 64-inch cutter, and a TrueVIS VG2-540 54-inch printer/cutter. “The TrueVIS VG2, was especially attractive because of its available color configurations,” says Brennan. “We are happy to have the Light Black ink option, as well as the wider gamut overall. We currently run it with an eight-color inkset that includes CMYK, as well as Light Black, Green, Orange, and White.”

Operating in Las Vegas allows 702 Graphics a unique opportunity to work with some of the biggest brands in the world, such as Skull Candy.

In addition to catering to locally owned and operated businesses, working in Las Vegas also allows 702 Graphics a unique opportunity to work with some of the biggest brands in the world. “We’ve had the pleasure of working with brands like Skull Candy, Enterprise, Honest Company, and Century Link,” says Rachel Lang. “We also work closely with locally owned businesses like Sunburst Shutters, Best Mattress, and Freed’s Bakery, known for the Food Network TV show Vegas Cakes.

“Everybody knows that Las Vegas doesn’t do anything small! We’ve also had the opportunity to work on fun yet challenging projects such as wrapping the World’s Largest Margarita and a ten-foot-tall promotional cup for Raising Cane’s and the Las Vegas Raiders.”

702 Graphics finds that color consistency across multiple platforms of printing is crucial when it comes to branding. They utilize their printers, Pantone® systems, and various media profiles to ensure color consistency for their customers.

Color consistency across multiple platforms of printing is crucial when it comes to branding.

Brennan says that most of the requests they receive concerning vehicle graphics are for partially or fully digitally printed vehicle wraps that promote the company and their brand.

“Recently we had a large fleet of twenty-eight-foot box trucks that needed to be wrapped on a very tight deadline. Because of the color consistency between our Roland DG printers, we were able to use both printers simultaneously to service the entire fleet,” says Brennan. “The print consistency allowed us to get the box trucks in and out in time to meet our client’s deadline, while providing a high-quality final product.”

However the biggest challenge they face when designing and printing graphics for branding purposes is receiving proper artwork files for company logos. “When we ask for a vector copy of a logo, we usually receive a saved image from a Web page,” says Rachel. “We work with our customers to source the correct files but often find ourselves recreating their logo in a vector format.”

Wall mural created for a client.

Wall murals have proven to be a popular specialty for 702 Graphics. They have designed, printed, and installed wall murals for a few different restaurants located on the Las Vegas Strip. “We recommend digitally printed wall murals to our customers because they are more customizable and faster to install than traditional wall coverings,” says Rachel, “not to mention they truly transform the space!”

702 Graphics frequently receives wall mural requests for new constructions and renovations of multi-family residential properties. “Most of the wall murals that we do for the multi-family residential properties are in their leasing office, clubhouse, or fitness center,” explains Rachel, noting that one of the most unique and challenging murals they’ve ever done was printing and installing a 50-by-35-foot mural on a ceiling in the clubhouse of a new multi-family residential property.

50-by-35-foot mural a ceiling in the clubhouse of a new multi-family residential property.

When it comes to wall graphics, 702 Graphics likes to use either landscape photography images or geometric patterns. Even though Rachel says that “anything goes” for wall murals, the company likes to use imagery that is designed to do one of two things—(1.) immediately grab your attention or (2.) subtly complement other design elements in the room.

As for challenges related to reproducing artwork for wall murals, Rachel says the biggest challenge related to artwork for wall murals is clients sending them low-resolution images to use. “We always try to direct [them] to find high-quality images off stock photo websites,” she says.

Another challenge they can encounter is the desired image not fitting the actual size of the wall. “When this happens, our graphic designer team utilizes Photoshop to add or subtract to the image to ensure it fits in the visual opening,” explains Brennan.

702 Graphics also offers a wide variety of products including specialty window films, laser-cut acrylic signs, architectural finishes, SEG lightboxes, and more. These products have allowed them to successfully upsell add-ons to their client’s projects.

702 Graphics recently created four four-by-eight-foot digitally printed panels KOMACEL PVC panels mounted with stainless steel standoffs.

“When we get contacted for a wall mural, we’re able to take a look at the environment and discuss options that will make the space even better,” explains Rachel. “A customer once came to us wanting to remodel their office lobby. Instead of a standard wall mural, which we originally discussed doing, we took the image they selected and created four four-by-eight-foot digitally printed KOMACEL® PVC panels mounted with stainless steel standoffs. This provided the ‘wow’ factor they were looking for!”

Their increased line-up of printers and hardware allows 702 Graphics to also offer smaller graphics or customized products for customers “We’re all about serving our customers, no matter the size of the job!” says Brennan. “We design, print, and install small custom projects such as car window decals and hotel shampoo bottle labels. We also provide small signage and graphics for weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, and birthdays. We’ve even installed a digitally printed graphic on a hockey goalie helmet!

“You never know when a small job will turn into a big customer. We pride ourselves on giving every customer the same quality product and experience from concept to completion.”

702 Graphics recommends wall murals to their clients because they are more customizable than traditional wall coverings.

Brennan says that the one thing that sets 702 Graphics apart from their competitors in the Las Vegas market is that they are a family-owned and operated small business. “From concept to project completion and everything in between, we work directly with our customers every step of the way,” he says. “We’re passionate about the industry and take pride in every single job—no matter how big or small. Each client gets the same level of professionalism and customer service, regardless of whether they are brand new or an existing client. We also pride ourselves on using the very best equipment and materials, which is why we use Roland DG printers and cutters paired with 3M vinyl and laminate.”

“Even though we are a small shop, we still produce the same volume as larger shops,” adds Rachel. “We have worked hard to build our reputation and know that being a family business has contributed to this goal. Our highly skilled team provides the creativity and talent, and our Roland DG printers and cutters provide the quality output we need to keep our shop humming.

“We’re extremely proud of the work we do, and we look forward to many more years in the industry.”

—Jeff Wooten

Note: Additional reporting provided by Ginny Mumm.

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2022 Sign Contest: Best Outside Design/Shop Fabrication, Illuminated

2022 Sign Contest: Best Outside Design/Shop Fabrication, Illuminated


This project teams twin 20 ft.-high x 9 ft. 4 in.-wide compositions and identical 20 ft. x 7 ft. 4-in. blanks using “woven” welded aluminum panels with red perimeter cove lighting. ARTfx combined polycarbonate, latex prints, red translucent vinyl, red and 5,000K white Bitro Group LEDs, sprayed mesh and Axalta acrylic polyurethane to craft the piece, employing multiple Miller welders, an HP Latex 700 printer, a Roper Whitney Autobrake 2000, a Roper Whitney power shear, and a DeVilbiss spray booth and spray gun.

ARTfx | Bloomfield, CT |

Russell and Dawson
East Hartford, CT

Installer: ARTfx

Client: OSF Flavors

Fabrication Equipment/Tools: Multiple Miller welders, HP Latex 700 printer, Roper Whitney Autobrake 2000, Roper Whitney Power Shear, DeVilbiss spray booth and spray gun

Installation Equipment/Tools: Elliott 60-ft. crane, Versalift 28-ft. bucket, Altec 40-ft. bucket

Materials/Components: 1 x 1-in. aluminum angle, various aluminum structural components, .125 aluminum plate, 3/16-in. polycarbonate, latex prints, red translucent vinyl, red Bitro Group LEDs, 5000 Kelvin white Bitro Group LEDs, sprayed mesh, Axalta acrylic polyurethane

Software: Gerber Omega, CorelDRAW 22, ONYX Go



Basing the design on a drawing from The Beck Group, Don Butler had to color and number coordinate each individual acrylic piece that was receiving digital print so all the shapes would line up. CSD created a custom channel letter backlight solution, then Andy Christel single-handedly fabricated and assembled the entire sign, which features the names of Tampa Preparatory School’s graduating class.

Creative Sign Designs (CSD) | Tampa, FL | Andy Christel

The Beck Group
Don Butler, CSD Technical

Installers: Matt Whitney, Rhyan Masonet

Client: The Beck Group

Fabrication Equipment/Tools: HP Latex 360 Printer, Graphtec FC8000-130 Plotter, Vanguard VK300D Flatbed UV printer, MultiCam Series 3000 router, SDS Automation Super ChannelBender, RAS TURBObend Brake/Folding Machine, RAS PRIMEcut Shear, AkzoNobel Paint System

Installation Equipment/Tools: Scissor Lift 27 ft.

Materials/Components: .040 prefinished white aluminum returns, .125 sheet aluminum backs and sides, 1⁄2 x 1⁄2 x ⅛-in. aluminum angles, ⅛-in. clear acrylic faces with direct flatbed printed transparent colors, 1 x1 x ¼-in. angle brackets with suspension aircraft cabling and shrink-wrap covering, 3M digitally printed graphics and laminate

Software: CorelDRAW, Adobe Illustrator, SAi FlexiSign Pro, SAi EnRoute, IntelliMAX, KeyedIn, Smartsheets

Other Components/Tools: Hanley Phoenix Series LED Lighting Modules and Power Supplies



The result of an ongoing partnership with SeaWorld’s parent company, Busch Gardens, CSD created this 17-ft.-tall main entry feature set within the center of a fountain to play up the waterpark theme. The multi-phase installation required getting the sign foundations and anchor bolts in place prior to the fountain being poured.

Creative Sign Designs (CSD) | Tampa, FL | Jordan Maffit, Andy Christel and Jason Robel

SeaWorld Entertainment
Tampa, FL
Don Butler, CSD Technical

Installers: Johnny Dalton, Matt Whitney, Kaleb Kemp

Client: SeaWorld Entertainment

Fabrication Equipment/Tools: HPLatex360 Printer, Graphtec FC8000-130 Plotter, Vanguard VK300D Flatbed UVprinter, Edwards Manufacturing 55-ton IronWorker, MultiCam Series 3000 Router, RAS TURBObend Brake/Folding Machine, RAS PRIMEcut Shear, SDS Automation Super ChannelBender, OMAX 1530 MAXIEM Waterjet, AkzoNobel Paint System, Miller Tig and Mig Welders

Installation Equipment/Tools: Altec LS63 Crane Truck

Materials/Components: .250 waterjet cut aluminum, 1⁄2-in. white trimless acrylic, 3M translucent vinyl, 2 x 2 x 3/16-in. aluminum support tubes, ⅛ x 1 x 3-in. aluminum tube railing support, 1⁄2 x 5-in. x various sizes aluminum base plates, CMU wall construction with footer, .125 routed aluminum, 1.5-in. angle framing, 3M Latex printed vinyl film with gloss overlaminate, 12 x 30 x ½-in. aluminum plates

Software: CorelDRAW, Adobe Illustrator, SAi FlexiSign Pro, SAi Enroute, IntelliMAX, KeyedIn

Other Components/Tools: Hanley Phoenix Series LED Lighting Modules and Power Supplies


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2022 Sign Contest: Best of Show

2022 Sign Contest: Best of Show

DESIGNED BASED ON a logo provided by Ross Johnson Design (Rapid City, SD), the robot, staircase and sign were crafted for the Sprockets Fun Foundry in Keystone, SD. Constructed in about two months and fabricated in four sections for easy transport, the 24-ft.-tall sculpture’s structural frame and staircase are composed of welded steel cut using a MultiCam Plasma cutter, while the sign face was routed from 30-Ib. DUNA-USA Precision Board HDU. The team hand sculpted the sign’s balance with fiberglass-reinforced concrete, employed a MultiCam 3000 series for routing, and used Miller welders and hand tools for the fabrication of the steel armature. Hand-brushed Sherwin Williams acrylic paint adds a finishing touch.

Imagination Corp. | Chilliwack, BC, Canada | Michael Ulrich, Ben Keller


  • Dan Sawatzky


  • Ross Johnson and team
  • Ross Johnson Design Co.


  • Sprockets Fun Foundry

Fabrication Equipment/Tools

  • MultiCam Plasma cutter
  • MultiCam 3000 series router
  • Miller welders and hand tools


  • Welded steel
  • Fiberglass reinforced concrete
  • Sherwin Williams acrylic paint


  • Adobe Photoshop
  • SAi EnRoute Pro

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Lumbering: A Sign Design Sculpt

For more than seventy years and three generations, the Stade family has been creating memorable and impactful signage for companies and businesses dotting the East Coast.

Located in the Moosehead Lake area of Maine, Harold Stade established this sign-making legacy after serving in the 82nd Airborne during WWII. He started painting signs and even attended the New York City Trade School for sign painting, fine lettering, and showcard artistry.

Harold earned his reputation as a sign painter in northern New Jersey until 1965 when he moved with his wife, Betty, and their children to the Moosehead Lake area where he continued lettering until he was ninety years old.

Harold’s son, Tom, followed in his father’s footsteps, honing his sign skills and eventually owning a commercial sign shop in northern New Jersey.

In 1997, Tom moved back to Maine and eventually relocated to the Moosehead Lake area in 2008 where he continues his father’s legacy by operating Moosehead Signs, a shop that specializes in finely crafted signage and lettering, alongside his son, Micah.

Today Harold’s dedicated spirit rings true through his son and grandson’s ongoing efforts in dedicating themselves to delivering superior quality and creative hand craftsmanship in every sign they create.

The new replacement sign created by Moosehead Signs for Hammond Lumber Company
The Design Comes Together

Recently Hammond Lumber Company, a lumber and building materials retailer with twenty-one locations in Maine, turned to Moosehead Signs to create a one-of-a-kind, three-dimensional identity sign sculpted out of high-density urethane (HDU) for their Greenville, Maine store.

“Hammond Lumber Company wanted sort of a landmark for their sign,” says Tom Stade. “They wanted a sign of a similar character to an earlier sign made for another company in the area and also something to mirror the beauty of the Moosehead Lake area.”

The Moosehead Signs team used a real moose antler as guidance for the carving and coloring of that part of the sign. In addition, the client requested that one of their log homes be incorporated into the sign’s design.

“Hammond Lumber Company contacted us because of the sign we did years earlier for Indian Hill Trading Post,” says Tom.

For that sign, Moosehead Signs crafted all the sign components for it out of multiple sizes and thicknesses of HDU and featured a variety of elements, including logs, a canoe, a loon, a chickadee, and water.

A Gerber 408 Saber CNC router cuts the letters out of Duna-USA HDU.

The Stades pride themselves on taking the time needed to design and create handmade signs that reflect a quality image for each client’s business.

“I spend quite a bit of time sketching out concepts and then recreating rough designs in the graphics software,” says Tom.

For the new Hammond Lumber Company sign, the renderings were created in CorelDRAW® Graphics Suite and submitted to the customer via email for review and approvals.

Chisels used for this project.

Although Moosehead Signs embraces the classic hand-carved and hand-created components that have earned them a solid reputation in the industry, they also embrace state-of-the-art technology that creates a quality product as their signs come to fruition.

In order to create the Hammond Lumber Company sign, the following tools were used:

  • Gerber 408 Saber CNC router;
  • Chisels;
  • A grinder featuring a variety of attachments;
  • Custom jigs, patterns & templates;
  • Graphtec 7200 plotter;
  • Graco FinishPro HVLP 9.5 ProComp sprayer;
  • Hand routers;
  • Skilsaw SPT70V-11 16-5/16-inch circular saw;
  • Vulcan OmniPro 220 welder;
  • Delta 28-203 14-inch band saw;
  • Delta Model 10 contractor saw;
  • Sun Joe 18-inch chainsaw; and
  • A variety of carving tools.
Micah Stade follows their CorelDRAW image to mark where to carve.

As Tom explains, this particular sign was made mostly of a variety of 10# to 30# DUNA-USA CORAFOAM® HDU with a welded aluminum framework for structural support.

Aluminum framework.

“We used T6 Aluminum for the cattail reeds cut out on the CNC and then hand-hammered into a V-grove template to shape them,” he says. “These were assembled with Gorilla® Glue products, and they were finished with Behr Premium Plus Exterior paints, as well as a digital print.”

T6 aluminum cattail reeds were hand-hammered into a V-grove template to shape them.
The reeds were welded together and attached to the sign with Gorilla Glue.
Solving Lumbering Challenges

Designing, creating, and modifying a sign of this caliber comes with its fair share of challenges.

For instance, according to the team, their shop setup is not exactly ideal for doing some of the bigger signs that they find themselves tackling.

Moosehead Signs had to design the sign in a way they could keep it mobile in the shop while they were working on it.

“We would love to have more room,” says Tom. “There were many challenges throughout this job, but the biggest was our limited space. We had to design the sign in a way that we could keep it mobile in the shop while we were building and working on it—hence the two-piece design.”

As he further explains, the sign’s lower and upper portions were designed to precisely join each other during the installation process.

The carved HDU.

Another challenging aspect was carving the dimensional upper portion. This was done out of large blocks of 10# DUNA-USA sign foam. “The process of removing what doesn’t belong and leaving the final product was quite time-consuming,” says Tom.

Other challenges included installing the conduit and lighting through the sign, figuring out how to best incorporate a lifting system for installation, lifting and moving the heavy material, making sure the joint between two pieces was very smooth and unnoticeable, and juggling things around to complete both signs in the Moosehead Signs shop.

Photos of real moose antlers were used to create a realistic version out of the HDU.

Carving the antlers for the moose was a collaborative effort between father and son.

“Between Micah and I, we have a great eye for things, along with good hand skills,” says Tom. “Micah also has an engineering mind. He took photos of a real antler from all sides, scaled the photos into our software, and pounced contours of each side to the actual size.

“Micah then sprayed black paint into the pounce holes for each pattern on its corresponding side of the HDU block.”

Making plunge cuts.

Following this, Tom used an eighteen-inch electric chainsaw to make plunge cuts, as Micah guided the angle of the saw from his perspective along the side. “We’d have to kind of describe it like doing Rubik’s Cube with a chainsaw,” says Tom.

Adding to rods to aid in the attachment of the antlers.
Touching up the antlers.

Another challenge was creating and securing the T6 aluminum reeds and stems to the sign. “Wind in the Moosehead Lake area can be quite strong, so we ended up welding the reeds together and attaching them with Extreme Gorilla Glue, as well as some mechanical fasteners, to connect the hand-carved HDU cattails,” says Tom.

Tom Stade with his selection of paints for this project.
The realistically painted moose.
Micah Stade spray-painting the sign.
Brush-painting one of the duck on the finished sign.

Following the sign’s creation, the Moosehead Signs team turned their attention to the installation process. In fact, there were two signs installed—one at the lumberyard’s main gate and one by the main road.

This meant that the last challenge for the Stades was figuring out how to lift both signs for transport and installation.

Loading the sign portions for transport to the site.

“At the lumberyard’s main gate, for the installation, we used a logging truck with a grappler hook along with an aerial work platform,” explains Tom. “The sign was bolted to the existing posts.

“For the main road sign, we had the log truck with a scissor lift. This sign was made with a cage inside the framework to just slip down onto the existing posts and the second (top piece) sat on top using pre-embedded one-and-a-half-inch steel pipe that slipped into a pre-drilled hole on the top section, in order to align the two pieces properly. We secured it with Gorilla Glue construction adhesive.”

Lifting the sign to slip down over the existing posts.
Aligning the two pieces of the sign.

According to Tom, “Overall we like the challenges, and hand carving is always enjoyable for us.”

A Natural Iconic Sign

In addition to helping further build the Hammond Lumber brand in the area, the sign also celebrates the region’s highlights and beauty.

“The response has been very positive, and we are thankful for the compliments,” says Tom. “The customer told us, ‘I think the sign will become iconic for Greenville.’”

The finished sign.

—Maura Keller

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