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Shapes and Styles of a Brand

Which materials best convey your brand and its message?


Which lines help your signage take shape?


We’ve done a number of custom signs for a number of different brands – each at varying levels of complexity, cost, and scope.


For a sleek more modern design, materials like acrylic and polished metals often turn out great.  Sometimes they can be combined with a natural clean wood as well for contrast.  The key to this brand communication is clean lines and clean surfaces, with the addition of LEDs to provide a natural glow to the sign.


The idea behind the Guru sign was to have an embossed logo (visually and physically) sit on top of a smoked acrylic backer.  Standoffs would separate the smoked acrylic from the opaque white acrylic back plane. This allowed for wiring to the LEDs and gave enough room for the light to reflect back and diffuse.

An option for combining some of the classic wood look with a more modern feel are copper inlay signs.  These also have the benefit of scaling well, so that we can make a sign that’s 2 feet long (Social Code) or 20 feet long (Thinkfest).


The classic marquee style signage is popular for many brands for various events.  We’ve done a number of marquee style signs varying from larger signs like “the table” sign for Mann Hughes to the smaller event sign for GrubHub.

There are a couple of considerations for these signs, one in particular is the type of backer that’s desired – a cleaner look can be had by using a plastic such as acrylic whereas a more vintage feel can be communicated using wood lathe.  Another consideration is the outline of the sign – whether the sign is made up of individual letters that are embossed themselves then wrapped to provide a border (in the case of “the table” sign) or whether the letters are carved out of a larger sheet of material.

The final consideration is the type of lights used in a marquee style sign.  The two examples shown here are a regular clear incandescent vs. an opaque bulb.  The spacing between bulb and letter surface area is generally kept the same, and is usually the driving factor.  The type of glow emitted is also a consideration – the opaque bulbs provide a more muted look that focuses the eyes to the outline of the lights, while the clear incandescent bulbs highlight the backing with the increase in lumens.


A distressed sign can give a brand that nostalgic feel or fit for a particular setting.  Wood is a typical choice in this arena, it ages gracefully and gives a unique look when standing the test of time.

Burt’s Bees was looking for just that for an event they were hosting.  Some pantone matched wood lathe channel letters fit the bill and gave the sign a weathered look that was on brand and fitting for the summer event.

Alternatively, brands that are having events by the beach and want their brand assets to fit the environment often look for something that’s distressed – Maine Lobster Co. was looking for signage for an event, but wanted that beachy feel with accoutrements that appeared aged and worn to fit their ocean based brand.  Similarly, tech company MOAT, who was having an event on the beach was looking to have their brand communicated in a look that fit the scene.  To get this look it takes a keen eye on composing the right finish to apply to the signs.  Finding the right mix of gray wash and sanded down edges to give a worn feel are key to the distressed look.  Sourcing the right wood that will take to this finish well is also important.


The tried and true – most logos seat nicely in a circle – and circles are perfect for our CNC router!  We’ve got some experience with this for a number of customers, but the most comes from our friends at Saxbys Coffee.  Having gone through a couple of re-brands with them and a number of different iterations for various locations, the brand medallions are a sleek look at an affordable rate.

The medallions start with the question of how large and then move to whether you want the letters proud of the surface of the sign or set into the surface of the sign.  Then we move onto material and colors – we offer various types of wood that can be stained or metal that can be treated each of which can be painted to match the space or the brand’s colors.

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