What’s in a name?

For each Sign Magic Workshop we design, route and paint up name plates for each guest that attends. Our ninth workshop is scheduled for next week and we’re busy with the current batch. There have been about a hundred and twenty-five name plates to date. The hard part is to do a new design for each person. It is a lot like making signs for our customers.
The name plates serve a variety of purposes. They are of course a nice way to welcome our guests to our studio. They are a lasting reminder of a visit here for each participant gets to take them home. Designing the name plates puts each guest firmly in my mind – a great way to remember everyone’s name. 
The name plates are also a great way to show just what can be done with a router and are a handy teaching aid. Coming up with original designs each time keeps my creative mind exercised and sharp. I would challenge anyone to come up with 10-15 name plates in a hurry – all different and dimensional. Designing the name plates in Enroute certainly hones my skills within the program. The name plates are also a great way for us to experiment with color combinations and painting techniques. Many of the texture bitmaps on my DVD collection were designed for just this purpose as well.
Normally I begin work on the projects for the workshops many weeks in advance. With our large projects on the go and our long hours there things got left a little later than usual. For the last days the MultiCam has been buzzing and I’ve been busy at the design computer. There’s still one or two days of work before we are down to the painting.
The project panels are all designed, routed and ready to go. As always, we will have a few new things this go around, building on our experience in the past. We are counting the days until the next Sign Magic Workshop!

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Dan Sawatzky

Dan Sawatzky is best described as a creative force in the sign industry. He and his wife Janis are owners of Sawatzky’s Imagination Corporation – a small family company that specializes in the design and creation of dimensional theme signs and environments. They tackle projects of any size from small signs to entire theme parks. Their work has garnered numerous international awards and Dan’s articles appear frequently in the sign trade publications. Dan and his crew also host Sign Magic and Sculpting Workshops in their studio a number of times each year with attendees coming from around the world. For more information please visit www.imaginationcorporation.com

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