SPONSORED BY OFFICE SIGN COMPANY
Photos courtesy of Office Sign Company
For the third straight year, Office Sign Company will be fabricating the Design & Living Magazine’s 2017 People’s Choice Awards, which will be taking on a bit of a new look in 2017.
Working in tandem with reclaimed wood supplier Dakota Timber Company, this year’s awards will be made from bleacher boards that were torn out from the John E. Carlson Coliseum hockey arena in North Fargo.
Earlier in 2017, the Coliseum’s interior was completely gutted to pave the way for a large renovation project. The wood that was previously used to support the derrieres of hockey enthusiasts is now being cut down, laser-engraved and set into an iron base, all to commemorate some of the most talented designers and builders in town.
In order to give you a full glimpse into the breadth of this project, let’s start from the top.
The team at Design & Living Magazine has always taken great pride in the aesthetic appeal of their People’s Choice Awards. Previous years’ ceremonies had seen bamboo (2015) and maple (2016) awards being received, but this year a change was requested. They wanted to see a more unique wood be used for year three, while still maintaining the general look and familiarity of the previous two years.
Walnut, birch and a few other wood types were discussed, but we ultimately landed on “reclaimed wood” being the substrate of choice—given the rise in popularity of reclaimed wood for interior designers this past year. In comes Dakota Timber Company.
FINDING THE RIGHT MATERIALS
Having established a great working relationship with Dakota Timber Company founder Seth Carlson, we reached out and explained what we were looking for—½ inch thick reclaimed wood in 7.5-by-7.5-inch pieces.
After scouring through inventory, Carlson referenced some remaining boards he had from the John E. Carlson Coliseum teardown. We felt instantly inspired. Just like spectators at the Coliseum used to sit on the bleachers waiting for their chance to enter the game, so too did our award recipients, who are now receiving these boards as a testament to their hard work and dedication.
Requesting a small sampling of boards to begin, we tested the scuffed-up and shoddily varnished boards in our laser engravers. It didn’t take long for us to realize these awards would be a hit. A few shots of the finished bleacher awards were sent to Design & Living Magazine’s team who gave the go-ahead, and we got to work.
DESIGNING THE ARTWORK
To get our artwork prepped for the new awards, we recovered the previous year files and made a few alterations to better fit the boards we would be working with this year.
A pdf file was sent to our design team with the names of the new award winners, which we were warned to keep on lockdown until the award recipients were notified of their win.
Our art team sent a few iterations to our engravers before finding the perfect template, and inserting the new designs. Once the artwork was all set, our design team saved the files, communicated with our print production team, and got the order artwork and invoice onto the engraving department. Now comes the fun part.
START THE LASER
Nestled in the west wing of our production facility, Engraving Technician Joe Kramer and Braille Connoisseur Brandon Henning got to work on masking the boards, laying them in the bed of our laser engravers and getting the etching started.
After each board is lasered, dark brown paint is sprayed over the top of the masked board to help the engraved text be richer in color.
Dealing with reclaimed wood, and especially these bleacher boards, there is often a major variation in texture, hue and overall appearance of each board. This can create the occasional challenge when it comes to lasering, but also allows for a sense of originality for each award because no two awards can be exact replicas.
LAID OUT TO DRY
After the boards have been engraved and painted, they’re laid to the side. The masking is usually left on overnight to allow the paint enough time to fill into the wood, and dry.
In the morning, the masking is peeled off of the awards, they are cleaned up in our quality control/assembly department and the wood is placed in its black iron base stand. Put an OSC decal on the back of those awards and we’re all good to go!
READY FOR THE WINNERS
It’s a pleasure to have the opportunity to produce awards for such a special night. We want to take a second to congratulate all of the People’s Choice Awards recipients and nominees.
Enjoy your night, and thanks for letting us (Office Sign Company) play a small part in making it special.
Office Sign Company
310 NP Ave. N, Fargo
Office Sign Company is a Fargo-based business specializing in custom interior office signs, awards, printing, and more.