Pastor Kevin Ross, with Living Word Church in Houston, Texas, asked us for help with creating a series of custom acrylic signs for his newly remodeled church. He had the vision, and the artwork, so he came to Fresh Prints of Houston for some expert advice on how to bring the signs to life. We got excited! And then immediately intimidated. Most of our customers know we started out as a screen-printing shop and have gradually added products and services as we’ve gained experience. The sign industry is our latest endeavor and it can be daunting when faced with a new project. It would be the first time we’d worked with such large pieces of acrylic and the various elements of visual depth he was looking for. We were in uncharted territory. Nevertheless, Pastor Ross put his faith in us and offered us an invaluable learning opportunity.
When dealing with acrylic, cutting and finishing is probably the scariest part. No business owner wants to destroy an expensive piece of material by using the wrong tool for the job. We’d previously built our own CNC router and debated on whether to cut the acrylic with that, or a rip saw. However, after many hours of lost sleep, YouTube videos and blogs, we decided on the right approach. After the final cut was made, we breathed a sigh of relief and moved on to the next part: polishing the edges with a blow torch. Scary. I know.
After some close calls with warping and bowing, we had a smooth and shiny finished piece of acrylic that was going to look amazing with the 1” chrome stand-offs we’d selected. The next task was choosing the right vinyl and the right printing,cutting and application methods to achieve the layers of depth the client envisioned. We chose various Oracal vinyl products. The brand meets our quality standards, our clients’ price point, and is locally available right here in Houston. We meticulously applied all of the layers of vinyl to the acrylic and were ready to transport the signs to the church for installation.
At this point our excitement was growing. We still had masking in place to protect the custom acrylic signs during install, so the final reveal didn’t happen until it was fully installed. After peeling away the last of the masking and stepping back to take a look at our work, two emotions took over: relief, and pride.
Our client knew it would be our first project of that magnitude, and he put his faith in us to get it done. As a business owner, it’s an incredible feeling when your customer is 100% happy, but when you EXCEED their expectations, that’s what makes it all worthwhile. The custom acrylic signs turned out to be one of the best looking projects we’d ever done and we are excited to do more as Living Word Church continues their remodeling.