WSA 2017 Coolness Sign Design competition winners announced - The Online Magazine for the Sign Trade.
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October 9th 2017

WSA 2017 Coolness Sign Design competition winners announced

World Sign Associates Announces Annual Coolness Competition Winners

The 2017 WSA Coolness Competition concluded last month with the association’s sign company and associate product members voting on the most innovative electrical signs produced during the past 12 months by WSA’s nearly 200 companies.

Giant leaf canopy sculptures enhance park wonderland
BSC Signs was honored with Best In Show for the Littleton Village Public Art Project, two imaginative 3D leaf canopy structures designed by Norris Design of Denver, with assistance from BSC, for the 77-acre residential development’s central park. These massive, colorful sculptures, each weighing 11,000 pounds, tower over visitors, inspiring a sense of wonder and playfulness.

The architect, structural engineer and sign designer collaborated through 3D models to create two sculptures featuring 24-foot central poles that support three leaves, the largest being 27 by 18 feet, all with compound curves. The leaves are painted in natural colors and have a central area of perforated metal. The largest leaves were built in two pieces to fit under highway overpasses and clear other obstacles during transport. A set of festoon poles supports lanterns for festivals and other events. Each leaf canopy was installed on site over two days, with help from a commercial crane operator.

Visible by land and air
In the freestanding 100-square-feet or larger category, Shamrock Building Services won for its Covestro sign, which marks the company’s North American headquarters from the nearby highway and from the air. Measuring 48 feet in diameter, it can easily be seen by aircraft landing at Pittsburgh International Airport.

Built in four sections, the sign is supported by eight-inch square steel pipes, fabricated to gradually curve to 90 degrees. The six-foot letters stand at 90 degrees from the hillside, while the ring is laid back to 35 degrees. Originally created via computer, the pole layout and spacing were transferred to the site using stakes and string. Installation was accomplished over a two- week period.

The sign replicates Covestro’s color ring day and night through RGB LEDs programmed to mimic the spectrum fade pattern. The ring’s faces are ½-inch thick clear polycarbonate with a digital print applied to the second surface. Letters are illuminated with white LEDs.

A sign that grows from ground to roof
Image King Signs took first place in the less than 100-square-feet freestanding category for its innovative Timbers Inn sign. Combining multiple elements creates the illusion that the sign extends through the eave and onto the roof: a double-faced aluminum cabinet with translucent metallic silver vinyl pin striping and a halo lit pan, open-face neon channel letters, reverse halo lit trees, vinyl graphics and a decorative pole cover.

Below the roofline, Image King Signs developed an angled pole cover that filled the gap between the roofline and sign, and then extended down below the eave to the ground. The cover masked an unattractive recycled pole, resulting in a sign that appeared as though it had always been there.

Above the roofline, the sign’s asymmetrical shape contoured to the roofline. To enable the sign to hug the contours of the textured rock below the eave, the manufacturing team created a tool to roll along the rock and mark the pole. The pole cover was then hand cut with a jigsaw before painting. The sign looks like its part of the building structure.

A miniature marquee in the middle of a major airport
Security Signs swept the wall sign category by creating a miniature replica marquee of the historic Hollywood Theatre inside the Portland International Airport. Security Signs overcame challenges in reducing the overall sign dimensions, engineering attachment connectors and navigating airport security.

Sized down 30 percent to just over 31 feet wide, the replica marquee included one-inch candelabra sockets for smaller LEDs and 12mm neon. The 1,600-pound sign was fabricated in six sections to include custom turnbuckles and an I-beam shim. Security Signs coordinated with the Port of Portland, TSA, structural engineers and the general contractor during the installation to comply with security clearances, assure minimal disruption to airport passengers, make the journey through the airport’s carpet and crowds, and lift the sign into place via heavy-duty handcranks.

About World Sign Associates
World Sign Associates is the premier trade organization for electrical sign manufacturers and suppliers throughout North America. Members represent some of the industry’s top talent. They craft custom signs as well as signs for regional and national programs, either by working independently or by combining the strengths of nearly 200 sign manufacturers and suppliers throughout North America. Membership in WSA is an honor for those companies that have shown their dedication to quality craftsmanship, business ethics, and corporate citizenship. Founded in 1947, World Sign Associates offers an executive forum for education, fellowship, support and the exchange of ideas. WSA members adhere to the highest ethical business standards and bring the utmost value to their customers.

For more information, please contact World Sign Associates at 800.421.0641 or

World Sign Associates
9035 Wadsworth Pkwy
westminster, CO 80021
Phone: 800-421-0641
Website URL:

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