The many dimensions of signage

Dimensional letters and graphic elements are great for both internal and external applications. They can be used for building signs, lobby signs, conference rooms and trade show displays.

Our CNC router brings the ability to design simple 2D projects or 3D graphics and carvings. Whether you’re looking for a “rustic” look or a high-gloss production finish, KORT Sign Design has the capabilities to deliver the signage you want. We can work with foam, wood, plastic, acrylic, PVC, aluminum, brass, or a variety of other materials. Often a combination of materials are used together to create a unique and personalized look.

All of these substrates come in a range of thicknesses.  As a rule of thumb, twice as thick equals twice the price.  Something to consider is how much dimension you want for a specific setting and the distance it will be viewed from.

We have a paint system and can match most PMS colors. (See side note below). Also available are Wilsonart or Chemetal laminate metals which add both class and durability to indoor and outdoor applications. Come in and visit with us to see a plethora of laminates to choose from.

Check out this short video on a project we did for Inprela, a public relations firm in Minneapolis. The symbol and letters were made from 4lb HDU foam, 1” thick.  The symbol is 89” x 89” and we had to glue two pieces together since substrates come in 4’ x 8’ sizes.  The letters are 47” high. We had to match their PMS orange color and painted them in-house.

We decided to use Great Stuff foam adhesive to mount directly on the uneven brick wall. As you can see in the video some final touch ups were required – ‘cuz we’re perfectionists. Check out our video on YouTube!

Side Note – Color matching basics

Color space refers to the universe of colors made possible from combining three or four basic colors, or from adjusting hue, saturation and brightness. The challenge lies in the multitude of color spaces available, each based on a different combination of colors and values.

Examples of color spaces are:

  • RGB (Red Green Blue); common to color models used for computer monitors and television screens.
  • CMYK (Cyan Magenta Yellow Black); this is common to color printing, which is why that process is often referred to as “four-color printing.”
  • PMS (Pantone Matching System); Pantone produces several guides every year containing thousands of solid PMS colors on coated and uncoated chips with corresponding printing ink formulas for each color.

Ink and paint are made differently, and paint is impossible to control perfectly. Variations in pigment, mixtures, the integrity of the machine, and more factor into what the final color will look like. Paint looks different between wet and dry states. It will look different in the can than it does when it is dry on the wall. It may look lighter.

At KORT Sign Design we use an X-Rite system to ensure our printer is printing CMYK and is matching PMS colors to the best it can. Paint stores also have these X-Rite systems and can scan almost anything to match the color you want to the best of their ability. But bottom line, there are too many variables and factors that can alter the look of paint and since ink and paint are two separate worlds, a perfect match is not guaranteed – but we do our best.

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