Sign Making

Posted April 09 2012

I posted previously on Twitter and Facebook about the new signs that I made for Unique LA and future design + art shows. I wanted to share the process here on my blog and provide a resource for anyone who is interested in making their own signage for events. Banners are great and all -quick and easy- and I've used them in the past, but how spectacular is a custom made wooden sign?! Let me walk you through how I did it:

First I found some 4' x 2' plywood at Lowes, which I had them cut down the middle and then in three more pieces resulting in one 4' x 24" piece and three 16" x 24" pieces. (I had to use math...yuck!)

Then I purchased some wood stain and stained the pieces to give them a nice dark finish that would help the white ink pop off:

While these were drying I printed out my transparencies. If you aren't familiar with screenprinting, these are what get exposed to the emulsion-coated screens. Basically the black areas block out the UV light and form a "stencil".  I hope you're still with me.

At this point I have exposed my screen, washed it out, dried it and it is ready for printing! Btw- this is the biggest image I have burned and printed yet. Needless to say I was nervous.

Then I printed a layer on my mylar for registration and to flood the screen/image:

Taadaa'!! A successful pass onto the wood! Once each side was dry I printed the reverse so that they could be double-sided.

Once all the logos were printed and dried, I started on the business name portion on the larger sign.

For my last step I sprayed down each sign with clear coat to protect the surface from scratching. And that's how it is done people.

Here's the cost breakdown:

Plywood sheet- $9, Cutting- free, Stain- $5, Screens- Reclaimed from past designs (but they run $17 each), Emulsion- I had a bucket already (but a new one costs $32), Ink- already owned (but a new jar is around $20)

GRAND TOTAL for me- $11 and the wonderful feeling of doing it myself!