Large Outdoor Signage: When going big delivers huge value.
Flex Face Signs and How They Work
“Flex Face” (also known as a “skin”) is a tensioned, flexible PVC (vinyl) banner substrate that is stretched across a frame system, like a drum is stretched. Often with minimal framing and excellent illumination.
How a Hawkeye came to be.
Here's the Challenge: The original design was a 22’high x 36’wide reverse channel halo illuminated (backlit) aluminum sign. Our concern was seaming limitations using aluminum facing pieces. Due to the size of the overall logo, it's impossible to have a single sheet of aluminum in the size necessary to make the logo and have a thoughtful budget. Seaming the aluminum was the likely solution, however, that left a potential for light to leak between the seams of the face using that construction method.
Here's the Solution: Our team brought up using flex face for halo options as that would allow for a one-piece face construction. During those discussions, face illumination was brought up. That evolved into the dual film and using it on flex face and that’s where we landed. The size did not end up changing, still 22'x36' but the entire construction and illumination of the sign did.
This new manufacturing solution of the Hawkeye also drove the overall design of the Kinnick Stadium letters on the press box as well. It was important that these letters complement the Hawkeye. While they don't use a flex face technique, they are face illuminated to match the Hawkeye. Since they aren’t as large, we could use lexan on the faces with dual film to achieve black during the day and white at night.
Video: Flex Face Hawkeye, From Manufacturing to Install
6 Benefits of Flex Face for Outdoor Signage:
- Ability to go BIG with design. PVC printing allows larger sizing than acrylic or composite materials.
- Lighter weight materials for large projects make for a smoother install. Fewer people, less equipment, less time.
- Faster to manufacture which results in quicker turnaround time.
- A more changeable option. Easier to print a new graphic and install on-site than acrylic or aluminum would be.
- Illumination options. The entire face illuminates nicely for nighttime visibility (like this Hawkeye) OR using an opaque face material, backlighting with a standoff can be a nice halo illuminated look.
- Quality look for the budget. Often flex face signs look no different than a heavier, more highly engineered ($$) aluminum sign. But also looks nicer and is more durable than cheaper acrylic faced signs.
If any of these benefits sound good to you, let a Flex Face sign be part of the conversation.
About the Author: Bryce Carlson, Eastern Iowa Sign Expert.
Bryce has partnered with the University of Iowa on many interior, donor, and outdoor signage projects over the years. He also worked with University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics on the Stead Family Children's Hospital that overlooks Kinnick Stadium and the famous "wave" that happens every home football game.
Bryce started with ASI in Central Iowa and moved his family to Eastern Iowa in 2006 to manage that territory for ASI.
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