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A blog dedicated to custom commercial signage, vehicle wraps and graphics, and business signs of all kinds!

What will my custom signage proof REALLY look like installed?

Posted on June 25, 2015 | Posted by Kris Williamson

Good question! As a full-service sign and design company, we are surrounded by proofs, acrylic color samples, print files, standoffs and more - every single day! When we work with customers on their new projects, we have a really good idea of what the installed signage will look like. You can call it practice - or experience - or our crafty mojo, but it's just because we can visualize the outcome. That's why we do what we do! 

We create proofs for our customers so that they can share that visualization with us. But here's the thing - not everyone can look at a proof and really SEE how the installed signage will look on their wall. Some of our customers contact us after receiving their proof and ask a variety of questions about the final outcome. Others come into our shop to see, touch and compare different material options. There are still other clients who ask for photos of similar signs that we've created. They search for anything that can help them form a mental image of their new sign because, let's face it, a new sign is a big deal! 

To give you an idea of how a proof translates into reality, we've put together some examples. Consider them a before (the proof) and after (the installed sign) assortment to show you various materials, colors and styles that can be used in sign making. They also give you a sense of how to take a 2-dimensional paper rendering and imagine it as a 3-dimensional custom sign on your wall. Ready? Here we go!

Proof and installed photos for Carl Smith Pipeline. 12-Point SignWorks

We fabricate a lot of 3D acrylic dimensional logo signs because they look fantastic! This sign for Carl Smith Pipeline is no exception. It combines laser-cut acrylic, digitally printed vinyl, clear frosted acrylic and satin finish aluminum standoffs. We like this sign so much we featured it as one of our Projects of the Week

When you look at the proof above and compare it to the actual installed sign, the layouts are identical. It's the 3-dimensional aspect of the sign that is difficult to see on just a sheet of paper. The smaller image on the left side of the proof illustrates the different layers of acrylic with the standoffs in place, but it's not the same as seeing it mounted onto the painted wall. See what I mean? The proof has all of the information on it, but the completed sign looks even better!

Proof and signage photos for the 3D acrylic logo sign for Asperio. 12-Point SignWorks

This 72" x 18" custom sign for Asperio is another example of a dimensional logo sign. This one uses 'studs' (threaded metal rods) to enhance the dimensional appearance of the letters and logo. Although the proof really breaks down and describes the different elements of the sign, it still can be difficult to visualize the dimensionality of the sign until it's up on the wall. 

Both of the above examples show dimensional logo signs on acrylic panels, but the same dimensional look also can be achieved by adhering custom signage directly to the wall. We recently fabricated and installed a sign like this for the Tennessee Wildlife Federation's expansion at their Nashville headquarters.

The proof and installed photo of the dimensional sign for the Tennessee Wildlife Foundation headquarters in Nashville TN. 12-Point SignWorks 

We fabricated this logo sign out of 1/2" thick laser cut acrylic. Because the Tennessee Wildlife Federation (TWF) has specific brand colors, we custom painted the clear acrylic sign pieces to create a perfect match. The proof format is designed to really enhance the dimensional aspect so it makes it a little easier to envision how the sign will look once it's installed.

In the proof for TWF, it shows 'Since 1946' underneath the logo. As you can see, that is missing from the photo of the installed sign. Proofs provide an opportunity to see the things you thought that you wanted on your sign, but you have a chance to keep, remove or change the details before the sign is actually made. How nice! You can read more about how we fabricated this sign (and others!) for TWF by reading our Project of the Week post.  

Now let's move on to another dimensional sign that is made out of brushed copper. We made this sign for Russ Cook & Associates, a local law firm, when they wanted a sturdy, gorgeous sign for their new location in Brentwood, TN. 

Proof and installed signage images for Russ Cook & Associates in Brentwood, TN. 12-Point SignWorks

This sign is heavy, classy and beautiful! It's impossible for this proof to portray the look of the actual copper, but it does a nice job of illustrating the signage and mounting details, the wall color and the lighting effects. As you can see, the customer made some adjustments to the plaque design before we began fabrication. In the proof, the center of the plaque was open; however, we ended up keeping it solid and adding black paint fill. You can read more about how we created this sign by clicking here!

We could go on and on with different projects that show the proof and the actual sign. In all of our proofs, we strive to show and provide as much detail about the materials, mounting hardware and dimensions as possible. Is there a type of sign that you would like to see as a proof and then installed? Let us know in the comment section below.

Ready to start on your own sign? Contact us at 615-595-6564 today to get started, or you can email us by clicking on the button below. 

Need indoor office or business signs? Contact us for a free consultation!

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