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how to start in pylon design?

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by biggmann, May 27, 2013.

  1. biggmann

    biggmann Member

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    we are a fairly large sign company and have been in business for almost 30 years but in that time we have turned down almost all request for pylon sign creation simply because we didn't have the experienced fabricators to actually make the sign itself. We are now looking to move into that area of sign creation and have a paint booth now as well as a new employee that has many years experience in fabrication. That all being said we still need to figure out how to actually design the pylon signs for him to fabricate. I have looked online for help and this is a subject that there doesn't seem to be readily available. How do you go about figuring out how to design a pylon sign, the mounting and how to make sure it is made to a certain spec for loads so it wont just blow over.
     
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  2. Moze

    Moze Precision Sign Services

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    You need to be familiar with pertinent codes (setbacks, sight triangles, minimum clearances, maximum heights, etc.), engineering requirements, engineer-stamped drawings, access to/employment of a master sign electrician, estimating the job, have the required tools, machinery, and expertise to manufacture the sign, have reliable contractors for drilling piers, pouring piers, providing the supports, setting the supports, transporting the sign, hanging the sign.

    And prior to most of that happening - you need to be able to provide the customer an accurate quote and hope you hit your pricing and all of your vendors and contractors can deliver what they promise.

    If those items are beyond what your company can provide, you need to be prepared to pay someone to basically broker everything for you.

    Edit... There are a number of pylon signs shown in your portfolio... We're they subbed out or something?
     
  3. Rick

    Rick Certified Enneadecagon Designer

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    You might try starting with these books:

    http://www.amazon.com/Engineering-Sign-Structures-Introduction-Analysis/dp/0944094309

    http://www.amazon.com/Sign-Structures-Foundations-Designers-Estimators/dp/0911380655/ref=pd_sim_b_5c

    That should be enough to get you close, but pylon signs usually require engineering from a licensed engineer.

    I've designed quite a few pylons and I used to rely on the fabrication guys to supply me with some fabrication details. Other details I have to design based on how I would fabricate the sign. One basic rule is that the posts are suspending the sign, not the structure itself. If you look at the images here, of the legs held up the sign structure, they would collapse. Note that each section attaches directly to the post.
     

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  4. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    The best way is to draw something up and find you a reputable alrger sign co that will sub for you. They can answer all questions and help you design them better and you can learn tons from them. Pylons can be complicated, footings, setbacks, permits....the design is easy
     
  5. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    Make sure you have competent welders. Certification for 2G, 3G never hurts either. Also make sure your welding power supplies and feeders are big enough to run .045 flux core in spray arc mode. This would be in lieu of some of the newer rigs in the market. You will also need to have a welding rig on your boom truck. Miller makes truck/trailer mount rigs that will supply all your welding power, compressed air and electricity for hand tools and never skip a beat.

    Miller makes some really nice wire feed rigs for pipe welding that will work a treat in the shop.
     
  6. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

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    +1 having sufficient welding gear for your trucks. pylons go up in sections and require a bit of onsite fabrication.
     
  7. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    Around here most towns require a drawing certified by an engineer.
    I would see what the permit process is like and then find an engineer who would
    be willing to certify your designs.
     
  8. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    +++on this
     
  9. skyhigh

    skyhigh Major Contributor

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    Same name.....different country. :cool:
     
  10. Moze

    Moze Precision Sign Services

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    Same website name? Not sure what ya mean.

    I was referring to all of the pylon signs under the "Lit Sign Gallery" in the Portfolio section. Just confused because it looks like they've done pylons...?
     
  11. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    Those could possibly all be simple face changes
     
  12. Moze

    Moze Precision Sign Services

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    Agreed and that's what I figured...just seems kind of misleading. Not taking anything away from them either...all of their work looks really nice. I guess if I see a sign under a "Lit Sign Gallery", it looks like they manufactured the sign as opposed to simply replacing the face.

    Anyway, nice work regardless. I was just confused by the question when it appeared as if they've done pylon work.
     
  13. biggmann

    biggmann Member

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    Yes we have done some in the past but it was basically subbed out, not a good way of making money when the other sign shop in town does it all in house this is why we are looking to do it in our shop. We have everything in place now, the fabricator, the engineer, and the designer but basically the blueprint on how to start the design and the necessary steps involved, more than just a 4x8 illuminated sign box.
     
  14. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    100's of ways to build em, 30% of which are correct :thumb:
     
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