Billboards have history

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The fun with being such a full-service shop is how we’re always suprising new customers with a different facet of our experience. Since we’re known mostly for cedar sand-blasted signs, it’s easy for the public to think those are the only signs we produce. The fact is, we’ve been designing and producing billboard signage from the beginning.

Here’s a little sign history: before digital tools entered the scene, most lettering was performed with paint and brush. So, creating a billboard offered the challenge of sketching and painting over a large surface, involving several inter-linked sheets of plywood.

Working with such a large area offered two approaches for lettering. a) lay the boards on the floor and crawl around on hands and knees, or b) attach the boards on a wall structure. For decades, we’ve used the wall method, keeping a wall clear for such a purpose. This also required a wooden or metal frame where the individual sheets were mounted.

Thanks to full-colour printing, the artwork files for our billboard projects often arrive from companies (such as Kal Tire) all scaled and ready for production. Now it’s a matter of the printing the artwork and positioning it precisely on a board-by-board basis. No more scampering up and down ladders, or crawing around on the floor.

For this project, Kal Tire required a full reflective background. Since the normal substrate isn’t available with this surface, we needed to apply some to each sheet — our laminating machine came in handy for this task. Rather than a full-colour print, we needed to cut the text and logo objects (both reflective and non-reflective) and apply them to the newly-coated panels. Once completed, it was time for our skilled installer to transport the panels to the site and install the individual panels to the billboard frame.

It seems the trend for outdoor signage is toward large TV displays, like the ones sprouting up along our freeways. For the time being, we still supply the printed version, and are happy to offer this service to our community.

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