Dream a million dreams.

Back in 2015 when Dan and I sat on a grassy hill at the EnRoute summit in Denver Colorado, I would have never guessed our crazy ideas would turn into an amazingly fun event. The premise, Invite the best of the best in the sign industry and see who answers the call. The challenge, set some rules and see how creatively people can break them. That my friends is exactly what we have seen in the past 3 years. 24 amazing entries later, I would like to think we have done our little part in helping the visionaries in this business dream a million dreams. The best part is we are not done yet!!!

This year’s Sign Invitational may have been small in participants, but there was no lack of fan involvement or passion across the entries. Competing were Dan Sawatzky (Imagination Corporation), Gary Johnson (Great American Sign Co), Douglas Hancock (SignPro of North Florida) and myself, Jim Dawson (Synergy Sign & Graphics).

Everyone showed up with amazing creations that were true reflections of themselves as well as creative solutions to the guideline limitations.

Dan Sawatzky

Gary Johnson

Douglas Hancock

Jim Dawson

In end, 567 fans had voted for their favorite and Dan Sawatzky took the crown home for the 2nd year in a row.

Next years contest is going to be extremely interesting. Stay tuned for some major announcements including 2 divisions and something that is surely to be a show stopper!!!

Check out the video here! The Sign Invitational 2018

Thanks again to our amazing sponsors.

Multicam
Coastal Enterprises
Smooth-On
EnRoute Software

Class is in session.

Here it is folks.  Many of you have been asking and now it’s here.  The Sign Alchemy Class. 3 days of intensive training that covers how we do what we do.  Presented by Jim Dawson of Synergy Sign & Graphics and Doug Haffner of Haffner’s Fantastic Creations.  We’ll be covering everything from carving to finishing and everything in between.

Here is the rough course overview http://thesigninvitational.com/sign-alchemy

 

We hope to see you here in October!

 

-J

The results are in. The Sign Invitational 2017 was a huge success!

The 2017 ISA Sign Expo was held this past week at Mandalay Bay convention center in Las Vegas.   The show was very well attended and directly translated into an all out mob of traffic for The Sign Invitational located in Multicam USA’s booth for the second year.   On display were pieces from Peter Sawatzky and  Dan Sawatzky ( Imagination Corporation ), Doug Haffner ( Haffner’s Fantastic Creations ), Aubrey Gealsha and Jim Dawson ( Synergy Sign & Graphics ), Doug Hancock ( SignPro of North Florida ), and Janey Freid ( Atlas Signs and Plaques )

 

While the show was not as big as it was last year, competitors clearly pulled out all of the stops and created some amazing pieces this year.

 

In the end, after over 900 votes were cast by show attendees,  Dan Sawatzky came out on top with his awesome train design.  Finishing second was Doug Hancock by a mere 25 votes.  Doug’s piece literally defied gravity with his awesome levitating sign design that payed homage to Nicola Tesla.  Rounding out the top 3 was Jim Dawson’s piece with his mash up design called Poe’s BBQ Pit and Pendulum.

Doug Hancock and his Tesco Levitating Sign

Dan Sawatzky and his Magical Train

Aubrey Gealsha and Magical Palmistry and Fortune Telling piece.

Doug Haffner and His Sign Magic piece.

Janey Freid and Her Rabbit with the Magic Hat

Jim Dawson’s Poe’s BBQ Pit and Pendulum build.

The 2017 Competitors.

Huge thanks to all of our sponsors once again this year.  Multicam USA, SAi Enroute, Coastal Enterprises, Signcraft Magazine, and Laird Plastics Akron.  Without all of you, this contest doesn’t  happen.

We all had a blast this year and cannot wait for next years competition.   The theme will be Marvelous Machine.  Do you have what it takes?

-Jim

The Sign Invitational 2017 promises to be Magical!

7 months out from the 2017 Sign Invitational and we are off and running. Invites were sent out this week. 16 of the 25 spots have been filled and we are extremely excited with the field already. The field will be announced once the 25 spots are filled or on November 1st, whichever comes first.

Judging by the way the field is shaping up so far, everyone better bring their A game this year.

Sign Magic! I can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

-Jim

2017_si_logo

More Awesomeness from The Sign Invitational 2016

More pictures from The Sign Invitational 2016.

 

IMG_9846

IMG_9844
Noella Cotnam’s (farmsigns.com) amazing nesting sculpture

IMG_9838

The Multicam Booth was the talk of the show.  We had a steady crowd for most of the show along with periods of an all out mob!

IMG_9831

Roger Cox’s gas pump and Dan Sawatzky’s Sign Police in the foreground.

IMG_9830

Phil Vanderkraats (Signs By Van) whimsical ” The Art of Design ” piece with Doug Haffner’s (Haffner’s Fantastic Creations) Rat Fink mouse trap in the background.

IMG_9829

Manfred Didier’s ( Timber Signs ) attention to detail was second to non.

IMG_9827

The wining entry from Peter Poanessa ( Keene Signworx ) was a masterclass in Goldbergian design.

IMG_9825

Peter Sawatzky’s (Imagination Corporation) Artistic Android was a master class in character design.

IMG_9824

IMG_9823

Who doesn’t love a robot chicken.  Xpressive Graphix’s entry from Dave Mattingly and Tony Rose had everyone chuckling.

IMG_9822

Roger Cox’s ( House of Signs ) tribute to Rube was amazingly detailed and displayed some awesome finishing.

IMG_9821

Dan Sawatzky’s (Imagination Corporation) piece showcased why Dan is at the pinnacle in carved sign design.  He always tells amazing stories with every piece.

 

IMG_0143

Jim Dawson, Bryan Gray, Aubrey Gealsha, and Jason Bair from Synergy Sign & Graphics sure do know there way around tentacle sculptures.

 

 

Congratulations to Peter Poanessa, The 2016 Sign Invitational Winner!

Voting was extremely close and the competition was fierce. The Multicam USA booth was the talk of the entire ISA 2016 show. We received tons of compliments and have already decided to expand the show for next year. Details on that soon.

Back to this year. Peter Poanessa showed up with his amazing Acme-Goldberg Autosign machine and pulled out the win after some very close results in the voting. The best part was we were all able to meet some of the top sign makers in the world, share ideas, and build lifelong friendships with our fellow sign makers.

Here are a few pictures to hold you over until we get home and edit the rest.

Thanks to all of the contestants, sponsors, and fans who made this a smash hit!!!!!

Multicam USA

Coastal Enterprises

Enroute

Signcraft Magazine

1st Place – Peter Poanessa, Keene Signworx
2nd Place – Roger Cox, House of Signs
3rd Place – Jim Dawson, Synergy Sign & Graphics
4th Place – Phil Vanderkraats, Signs By Van
5th Place – Peter Sawatzky, Imagination Corporation

Peter Poanessa of Keene Signworx with his winning entry
IMG_0080

Roger Cox and Periandros Damoulis from House of Signs with the 2nd Place finish
IMG_0052

Jim Dawson, Jason Bair, and Aubrey Gealsha from Synergy Sign & Graphics finished 3rd place
IMG_0088

Phil Vanderkraats and Donna Shriver from Signs by Van took 4th place
IMG_0062

Peter Sawatzky from Imagination Corporation took 5th place with his Artistic Android
IMG_0050

IMG_0044

Stay tuned for more pictures and the rules and theme for next years competition.

-Jim

Ready to ROLL!

Today we loaded everything into a trailer and packed up for Orlando. The trailer currently houses the ballot box and stand, Peter Sawatzky’s entry, Dan Sawatzky’s entry, a sculpture for Coastal Enterprises that Dan made, Peter Poanessa’s entry, Phil Vanderkraat’s entry, Synergy Sign’s entry, number plaques for all of the entires, Xpressive Graphix’s entry, and various other tools, thank you plaques, and other things needed to pull this contest off.

( 5000 ballot entries for the voting process. )

I hope everyone can make it out to ISA 2015 and see these works of art on display for everyone!!!

IMG_7588

You can come see us in the Multicam booth during show hours.

Trade Show Floor Hours
Thursday, April 21 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday, April 22 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 23 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Stop in and vote for your favorite!

A huge thank you to those who believe in us.

Today, we finished up one of the most important parts of The Sign Invitational. These sponsor plaques will be applied to the ballot box where the fan voting takes place. Without the help of these amazing companies, we wouldn’t be talking about the invitational.

IMG_7569

Again from all of us… THANK YOU!!!!

Page 1 of 212