Custom Dimensional Graphics

Dimensional Sign Projects

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WHAT IS

DIMENSIONAL

SIGNAGE?

Dimensional signage is any sign that projects out of the wall or surface it is on. A poster is typically flat against the surface it’s hung on. A dimensional sign seems to “pop” out of the wall. The sign might consist of individually cut letters or a logo that is cut out to make it project. Some dimensional signs feature a printed, flat surface that is hung on the wall in such a way that it projects outward.

When people think of dimensional signage, they often envision individually cut lettering. Although dimensional lettering is one example of this type of signage, it’s not the only example. Logos can also be created using dimensional signage techniques, for example  ➡

Dimensional signage can also be used for wayfinding. For example, an arrow that projects from the wall can help a person find their way in a busy corridor. The pictograms indicating the presence of restrooms can project outwards from the walls or doors.

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WHO CAN USE DIMENSIONAL SIGNAGE?

Restaurants, medical practices, educational facilities, government entities, real estate agencies and banks are just a few of the different kinds of businesses that frequently come to our studio looking for help with their dimensional signage needs. No matter what size project you have, we’ll work with you to make sure things line up with your expectations and that you’re satisfied in the end. We start each project with a consultation, during which you’ll describe your expectations, and we’ll discuss your options in-depth.

If you’re looking for ideas

Here are a few ways that different companies can use dimensional signs ➡

Professional offices & Financial institution

Dimensional letters with the company’s name can hang on the wall behind a receptionist’s desk, greeting visitors as they enter the office and confirming that they have found the right location. Banks and other financial institutions can use dimensional lettering to help people find the institution. Dimensional lettering can also help people navigate around a bank branch, from the loans and mortgage area to the teller area and so on.

Schools, universities, Hospitals & healthcare facilities

Few things bring out school spirit quite like a large dimensional sign featuring a school’s mascot or logo. Universities and colleges can use dimensional signage to help pep students up for the big game and to help students feel pride in their school during the rest of the week. On a practical level,  dimensional signs help people find the location of a their classes, medical practice or hospital and can help people verify that they’ve found the right place once they arrive. Signage can also help people find their way around the healthcare facility.

Restaurants & retailers

Restaurants can create dimensional signs with their logo and their name printed in big letters. The signage can hang on the exterior of the restaurant to welcome diners. In a shopping mall or plaza, dimensional signage can help hungry people identify the restaurant’s location. Retailers can also use dimensional signage to help guide shoppers to their location. Inside a store, a dimensional sign can assist people in finding the checkout area. Dimensional signage can also be used throughout the store to guide people to different departments or to help them find the fitting rooms or restrooms.

Pro TIPS FOR CREATING DIMENSIONAL SIGNAGE

How can you go about creating signs that attract new customers and help people find your location? There are a few rules of thumb to follow when it comes to sign design. These tips work for dimensional signs as well as any other type of sign. They can be particularly useful for dimensional signs, where high visibility and legibility is a must.
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CONTEXT

A sign’s location and what surrounds it can influence how visible it is and how much it “jumps out” to a viewer. Dimensional signage can increase visibility in areas where a lot is going on or where there might be other distractions, such as trees and parked cars.

speed

If a sign is meant to be read from the roadside, then size and positioning matter. When a person is driving 55 mph in a car, they travel about a quarter mile every 16.5 seconds. A person will see big, dimensional letters on a sign from farther away than smaller, flat letters. They’ll have more time to figure out what a sign says and decide if it’s what they are looking for.

positioning

Depending on the angle at which a person is approaching a sign, they might have difficulty seeing it. For example, drivers have a limited “cone of vision,” if they keep their eyes on the road ahead of them while driving. Any sign that’s placed outside of a 10-degree cone will be difficult to see unless a driver turns their head.

HOW ARE DIMENSIONAL SIGNS CREATED?

The process of creating dimensional signage is slightly different from creating other types of graphics. For the most part, dimensional signs aren’t printed on material like other signs are. Instead, they are cut out from a material such as acrylic or metal using a CNC router or plasma cutter.  A CNC router or plasma cutter is a computer-controlled machine that cuts into materials. The “CNC” in its name stands for “computer numerical control.”

CNC Router

CNC router has some things in common with a basic woodworking router, but it is a lot more powerful. The routers can cut intricate designs in a variety of materials with precision and ease. CNC routers also work a lot faster than other types of routers.

To use a CNC router, a sign-maker programs the design into a computer-assisted design (CAD) program, then chooses the types of cutter they will use. With the information programmed into it, the CAD determines the best way to produce the signage’s design.

If you want a sense of how the cutters on a CNC router move, think back to your high school math classes, specifically to when you would plot lines on a graph. Usually, the graphs you used had two axes — X and Y. Y was up and down, and X was left to right. A CNC router can cut on three different axes, which is why it can produce dimensional signs and letters. It can cut side to side, on the X-axis, as well as top to bottom, along with the Y-axis. It can also cut on the Z-axis, or up and down in the material itself.

The benefit of using a CNC router for dimensional signs is that the tool makes it possible to cut and create more intricate designs than could be done by hand. CNC routers also work quickly, meaning your sign will be ready to go in a flash.

CNC Plasma Cutter

A “CNC plasma” cutter is a machine that carries a plasma torch, and can move that torch in a path directed by a computer. CNC plasma cutting involves cutting through electrically conductive materials by utilizing an accelerated jet of hot plasma that is directed right at the material being cut.

A CNC plasma machine uses a plasma cutter to cut thin to thick metals along a multi-axis grid. The CNC method provides an advantage over handheld plasma cutting tools due to the cut being programmed and controlled by a computer instead of human motion. CNC plasma is where high speed and precision meet low cost – among a vast array of additional benefits.

If you want a sense of how the cutters on a CNC Plasma Cutter move, think back to your high school math classes, specifically to when you would plot lines on a graph. Usually, the graphs you used had two axes — X and Y. Y was up and down, and X was left to right. A CNC Plasma Cutter can cut on three different axes, which is why it can produce dimensional signs and letters. It can cut side to side, on the X-axis, as well as top to bottom, along with the Y-axis. It can also cut on the Z-axis, or up and down in the material itself.

Because a CNC plasma machine is operated via CNC Control, it is extremely precise. Once the cut is programmed, the torch moves in an exact path set by the computer that is reliable and consistent every time. This leads to unmatched precision on essentially any cut, no matter how complex or refined.

BEST MATERIALS TO USE FOR DIMENSIONAL PROJECTS

acrylic

Acrylic offers a bold, immediately recognizable element to your office space. It’s an incredibly versatile material, as we can use features to fit a range of sizes, shapes and colors. You can add a dimensional flair to your logo or create some interesting decorative elements. Acrylic dimensional signs can be used indoors or outdoors. They are lightweight and can resist fading, chipping and cracking.

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foamcore

If you’re looking for an option that’s cost-efficient, lightweight and temporary, it’s hard to beat foamcore. You can even extend its lifespan with a series of different finishes and coats. Foamcore is best for interior signage. It’s an ideal pick for trade shows, conventions or any other event when you want to grab people’s attention quickly.

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metal

Aluminum and other malleable metals like copper, bronze and steel are all fair game for companies seeking industrial, hardened overtones. Metals can also be finished and polished in a variety of ways, and the durability they offer is second to none. Metal signage is excellent for indoor use or outdoor use.

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wood

Sometimes you can’t beat the old-fashioned, natural ambiance wooden signage helps to inspire. Many popular wood types can be cut to fit your requirements, which also means they can be made to withstand indoor or outdoor use without significant wear and tear. Although wood can be used to create a rustic, it can also be used to create a polished, professional sign, depending on the finish and style.

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 Need an Estimate?

Contact Graphics 2000

Your trusted printing partners for stunning dimensional products 

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Address

1320 F Ave NE

Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

Email

Info@Graphics2000inc.com

Phone

(319) 241-3274

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