Indigo Signworks Blog

Andria Theatre


Reviving the Historical Landscape of Downtown Alexandria The Andria Theatre (Alexandria Area Arts Association) has been a part of the Alexandria’s downtown scenery since 1936.  A spire was part of the original building back in 1936.  However, a storm blew Read more

Building Relationships and Signs with Contractors


Building Relationships with Contractors Developing genuine trust and providing a value beyond the products and services we provide our customers, has always been a foundational block of our relationships at Indigo Signworks. Not only do we work directly with the Read more

Animated Signage Ignites Attention


One of a Kind Interior Signage for SMOKE BARBEQUE & BREW Shooting Star Casino has asked us to be a part of a fun new project at their Mahnomen location.  SMOKE Barbeque & Brew was conceived to replace Whispering Winds Restaurant.  Read more

Andria Theatre

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Reviving the Historical Landscape of Downtown Alexandria

The Andria Theatre (Alexandria Area Arts Association) has been a part of the Alexandria’s downtown scenery since 1936.  A spire was part of the original building back in 1936.  However, a storm blew it down back in 1974 and was never replaced.  Nearly 43 years later, a new Andria spire was set in place, and Indigo Signworks was proud to be a part of it.

In 2013, Ringdahl Architects contacted Indigo Signworks to discuss renovating the theater’s signage.  After carefully studying a photograph of the building from the 1950’s, Indigo accepted the challenge. The association worked hard raising contributions for restoring the visual impact that Andria Theatre once had.

The first step was the front overhang; it was repaired back in 2014 with a new rubber membrane roof.  Over the next couple of years, enough money was finally raised to get the “ANDRIA” spire, which was installed this past Spring. Not only does it bring back the Alexandria Area Arts Association building’s historic past as a movie theater, it also adds a new attraction to the downtown area.

The renovations are not done yet either.  The association is still working hard to raise money to update the existing illuminated cabinets with their new brand to bring it all together with updated L.E.D. technology.

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Restoring the Iconic Star at a Minot Landmark

 


Building Relationships and Signs with Contractors

Posted on by Indigo Signworks, Inc. in Articles, Customer Spotlight, Featured Jobs, Products Leave a comment

Building Relationships with Contractors

Developing genuine trust and providing a value beyond the products and services we provide our customers, has always been a foundational block of our relationships at Indigo Signworks. Not only do we work directly with the final clients, we also form business relationships with real estate developers, designers, architects, engineers, marketing firms, general contractors and consultants, just to name a few. With their intimate knowledge of the overall project, working with Indigo Signworks during development and deployment ensures a successful signage package! We really take the time to hear our clients out, learning to understand their needs. Taking their very valuable ideas, suggestions and perspectives, and engaging experienced signage professionals to create a option that will make our client’s new or existing business successful.

Gaining Perspectives

We know that our clients don’t work with signage everyday, as we are not professionals in their area of expertise. As much as we try, we don’t always agree with our client’s perspective. We respect their request, and work to develop concepts that we believe will serve them well.  Our best relationships have come from clients that we have very open dialog, so that we grow to become a proven resource to the way they market their business. Truly great relationships that are most beneficial, don’t come from those that think alike, they come from gaining perspectives from others. We strive to build that kind of relationship with our client, and have been doing that for over two decades.

McKenzie County Law Enforcement Center

One such project Indigo Signworks has recently completed was with Construction Engineers of Grand Forks, ND, for McKenzie County Law Enforcement Center.  Indigo Signworks received an “Invitation to Bid” from Construction Engineers for McKenzie County Law Enforcement Center in Watford City, ND.  Sales representative, Nathan Helm, went right to work after going through all of the signage specifications. The bids were accepted, and Nathan worked closely with Jon Steen, Project Manger at Construction Engineers, during the almost two-year build.

“I’ve enjoyed working with you as well and appreciate how organized you are in your emails and tracking the many changes the architect & owner have thrown our way. It makes my job easier the way you handle those items.”

– Jon Steen, Project Manager at Construction Engineers

You can view more information from the March ribbon-cutting from an article in the Williston Herald.

EXTERIOR SIGNAGE

Installed November 2016

INTERIOR SIGNAGE

Installed January 2017

STENCIL PAINTED DOORS & WALLS

Completed March 2017


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Animated Signage Ignites Attention

Posted on by Indigo Signworks, Inc. in Articles, Customer Spotlight, Featured Jobs, LEDs, Products Leave a comment

One of a Kind Interior Signage for SMOKE BARBEQUE & BREW

Shooting Star Casino has asked us to be a part of a fun new project at their Mahnomen location.  SMOKE Barbeque & Brew was conceived to replace Whispering Winds Restaurant.  In March of 2017, the doors opened and it has been wildly popular with the Shooting Star patrons.

CREATION OF THE SMOKE SIGN

Indigo Signworks was given a logo concept, and was asked to take on the task of designing and producing a unique sign to help showcase the new restaurant. After some consultation and conceptual meetings, we felt strongly about our concept moving forward and began the engineering and shop drawings to make their new sign a reality.

The new “SMOKE” sign features some fun animations and lighting techniques.  We began with Indigo Signworks exclusive Halo Deluxe lighted letters; layered with a translucent acrylic base and an opaque PVC printed face. This ensured that the letters would light only around the perimeter, giving it the look that the client wanted. Below the main “SMOKE” copy, we utilized a hammered metal laminate on PVC for the “Barbeque & Brew”. This laminate gave the sign that “smokehouse” feel the client was after.

What made this sign truly special was the flame component of the logo. Indigo was asked to create motion and movement to the flame utilizing programmable LED lighting. After careful thought of layout and programing, we were able to achieve an animated flame that gives SMOKE a noticeable presence on a busy gaming floor.

We are proud to continue to provide the goods and services that Shooting Star Casino requests and look forward to their next fun challenge!


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Indigo Signworks Helping Bell Bank Make its Mark in Bloomington

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Bell Bank has Officially Made its Mark in the Metro Area

Indigo Signworks had our hands in helping Fargo-based Bell Bank, as they recently completed the branding of their 15-story Bell Plaza building at 3800 American Blvd. W. in Bloomington, MN. The building was formerly known as Northland Plaza.

Bell Plaza is one of the most prominent buildings along I-494 in the south metro area. Now, Ball Bank can now be seen on the west side of the building from eastbound Interstate 494 along France Avenue and on the north side facing westbound on I-494. As you could see in the video, the signage is massive in size; at almost 7 feet tall and 50 feet wide!

Due to it’s size, location & the building itself, this Bell Bank sign project held a few unique challenges to undertake.

How do we attach these giant letters to this building that wasn’t designed with the intention of hanging letters on the side of it?

After careful deliberation, we decided that a roof mounted structure was the only option. However, it too came with some additional hurdles to overcome. The building didn’t have any of the original blue-prints, and anything we could find about the original construction didn’t match the physical buildout that we were working with. We hired a forensic engineer to help us determine the construction method of the building and the load carrying capabilities of the roof. Our game plan for installation was in place.

How can we manage the timeliness of this project?

Because there was so much back-and-forth regarding engineering and design at the start of the project, we were going to be overshooting our original completion date by quite some time. Not forgetting to mention, all of this was done before we were waiting for the blessing from the City of Bloomington. This process usually takes a week or two, as long as there are no further concerns.

When we received the City’s approval to move forward, it was then a coordination game.

We needed to find companies who can build our mounting structure, someone to x-ray the roof and drill the holes that need to be precisely placed in between cables running through the cement in the roof, someone to lift our structure to the roof. And who will  be willing to help us out with this for three weekends in February and early March on the top of a 15 story building. 

We assembled a great team that communicated and worked very well together. Our team at Indigo Signworks and Indigo Electric went over the project with a fine-tooth comb to ensure everything fit together as it should. Our roofers and construction companies, Rosenquist Construction and Vector Construction, played a huge role in securing our structure to the roof and sealing up the roof’s membrane. Ben’s Structural Construction, who built the letter carrying structure, and A&B Welding and Construction, who transported and lifted our structure and letters, were both so great to work with.


UND Replaces Old Logo with Fighting Hawk Symbol

Posted on by Indigo Signworks, Inc. in Articles, Customer Spotlight, Install Leave a comment
The Grand Forks Herald highlighted the installation of the new replacement faces for the Fighting Hawk Logo

After a few months of collaborative design and budget meetings, the University of North Dakota contracted Indigo Signworks to update the interlocking logos on both the High Performance Center and the Alerus Center.  Both buildings have the exterior signs upgraded to feature the new Fighting Hawks logo and incorporated LEDs into the cabinets.  Many thanks to all who helped on this project!

To see the story, video and photos online, visit grandforksherald.com!

 

 


Restoring the Iconic Star at a Minot Landmark

Posted on by Indigo Signworks, Inc. in Articles, Customer Spotlight, Featured Jobs Leave a comment

The “Ape-a-thon,” giant pickles and old memories.

An old Minot, ND landmark, the Oak Park Theater was resuscitated back to life just this month. From what I am told, this facility was first open for business in 1961. Sadly it was all but destroyed in the 2011 flood. The business owner, Al Schaan, set sail on a restoration mission about 8 months ago. Mission accomplished!

This place has been a mecca of entertainment for decades. It is doubtful that there is a single person who has lived in this city for any period of time who does not have memories of it. One that comes to mind for me was the “Ape-a-thon”: Five Planet of the Apes movies back-to-back for eleven straight hours of ape enjoyment. What more could a band of 13 year old hooligans want? Well a 30oz root beer and one of those giant pickles that could be made to last through a “moviethon” of almost any kind. That’s what! Those were the days!

The Nervous Sign

Indigo Signworks was given the opportunity to restore an iconic beacon that has stood watch over the theater from the beginning. It is a six point 3-D star with flashing neon that has been coined “The Nervous Sign.” Originally designed by a man named Bill Reynolds from Bacon Signs. It is now in pristine, like-new condition. It is bright, and it is fast. It is also all the rage on local Facebook banter. It has been all over local television and print news as well. Everybody that I have spoken to about it is happy that it has returned.

The project was in and out of our shop in short order. A shout out to Nick Tibbits,  who was able to map out and wire the flasher system to what we think was the original sequence. The crew installed it and had it running just hours before the grand re-opening of Oak Park Theater. I took a trip to the theater that night to see it in the dark, and found 3 people in the parking lot making videos of it with their phones. This thing is super-cool and a big win for the theater, for Indigo Signworks, and for the city as a whole.

  1. Fabrication Shop: The Nervous Sign
  2. Post Installation: The Nervous Sign


Written by Bob Smesrud
Production Manager
 Bob is our Production Manager out of or Minot, ND division at Indigo Signworks. He’s been working the sign industry for the past 35 years. 

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Using Faux Brick to Achieve a Truly Unique and Custom Sign

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Faux Brick: It doesn’t always mean “fake looking.” It can be quite impressive if done properly.

Matching Historic Masonry with Composite Foam

When the need arises to match existing brick, masonry or other architectural elements of a building you may want to consider the use of faux brick, a foam composite material, to meet your needs. Brick sizes, colors and finish styles that were once used on the original building masonry may be nearly impossible to match with actual brick as time goes by. A composite foam will give you options to replicate designs that were done over 100 years previous with ease!

The illuminated ground monument at Mayville State Larson Alumni Center is an example of a design needing to match a building that was constructed in 1911 and yet work within budget constraints of a donor driven project. Notice how the cut sandstone elements above the windows were replicated and used as ornamental crowns on the red brick columns. Without knowing this monument was installed recently, the general public would assume this sign has been there for years and simply had a new illuminated sign cabinet added to it.

Another example of the use of composite foam is the ground monument for Alerus Bank in Fargo. We wanted to replace an existing lighted sign with something that served the same purpose, but looked more like part of the original design of the building that was constructed 16 years earlier. Existing footings and structure from the old sign were incorporated in the new design. If you have not seen the previous sign before, you’d  never realize this sign was not always a part of the site and it was made out of something other than the original brick, mortar & stucco.

Indigo Signworks has the know-how to help you!

Careful documentation of sizes, colors, shapes and finish textures of the original elements is key to making the final product look as though it was always there. You will be amazed at what can be done with composite foam material if some creative time is spent studying the site, and sharing that information with a designer.  Our design pros can develop a concept, incorporating original elements and render a truly one of a kind sign. Fortunately for you, we have a knowledgeable and experienced staff from sales to install to help you out!


Welcome Michael Rodenwald to Indigo Signworks St. Cloud!

Posted on by Indigo Signworks, Inc. in Employees, Indigo News Leave a comment

A Big Welcome to Our Newest Team Member, Michael Rodenwald!

Michael RodenwaldWe’re delighted to announce the newest addition to our Sales Team out of our St. Cloud, MN office. Michael Rodenwald handles both custom signage and corporate sign sales for the Minneapolis Metro region. Mike’s depth of knowledge in the sign industry started in 1998 when he attended M-State Technical College in Detroit Lakes, MN, where he went through the Sign Lettering & Design program. After graduation, he started working for Leroy Signs of Minneapolis, MN in the layout and vinyl graphics department. His education continued with on-the-job training within different aspects of the sign business: letter fabrication, pylon and monument fabrication, wiring, as well as installation.

In 2013-2014, Mike was a familiar face to our Indigo Signworks’ family while he worked in our Install Crew out of the Alexandria, MN office. Mike’s hands-on knowledge of the complete sign process from design, manufacture, installation and project management is an invaluable addition to the St Cloud Market sales team as we continue to grow that direction. We couldn’t be happier to have him back on team Indigo!

Michael lives in the town of Saint Martin, MN where he and his wife Alyssa are raising their two boys; Parker (10) and Degan (7). In his spare time, you’ll find Michael at the lake, or in the woods hunting.


Utilizing Experience to Tag Team Healthcare Center’s Needs

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Mountrail County Health Center

Mountrail County Health Center of Stanley, ND expanded their services by opening a new clinic, T.H. Reiarson Rural Health Clinic, in 2015, as well as the addition of the Ann Nicole Nelson ER in 2014.

A little teamwork can go a long way.

Mountrail County Health Center Director of Plant Operations, Jim Clark,  met with Steve Hoffart, Indigo Signworks Sales Representative, to discuss exterior signage. During the meeting, it was brought to Steve’s attention that they were also looking into an interior sign package and donor wall system. “I knew that the interior signage would be something that Alex [Lund] would be much more experienced at, as she has done a lot of that type of work for Indigo.” Steve said. Following the initial meeting, both Alex (Indigo Sales Rep) and Steve met with Stephanie Everett, the Foundation Director, as well as Jim Clark to discuss the project further. It was decided that Steve would continue to handle all exterior needs, and Alex would handle the interior. 

Interior Transformations

“This was such a fun project to work on. I really enjoyed getting to work from start to finish as well as transforming the inside of the buildings’ atmosphere.” Alex commented. What started with a simple donor wall was transformed into a collage of illuminated boxes, wrapped in DiNoc, to look like wood frames. This way, the wall really “popped” and was different from what most were used to seeing in hospital settings. The goal was for high visibility of the signs and having all of the donors listed. The sign’s faces were printed on a translucent poly non-adhesive film. In doing so, updated donor names could be printed and shipped out to the customer on an as needed basis, due to their location. 

“While we were installing the wraps, quite a few people stopped to point out themselves, or someone they knew.”

While working on the donor wall, Alex and Steph started to discuss other areas that could possibly be accented with wall wraps. The wall wraps were a great addition, as they added character, but also told the story of the hospital’s history through images. “While we were installing the wraps, quite a few people stopped to point out themselves, or someone they knew,” Alex added. After the wraps, an interior wayfinding system was put together using Vista frames and copper detailing.

 

Exterior Signage

All the while the interior signs were taking shape, Steve was hard at work making sure the exterior letters were just right. One set in particular came with an unexpected story. “One of the most memorable signs that I did for Mountrail was the Ann’s ER sign above the entrance to the ambulance bay. We had already installed some of their signs, and Stephanie wanted for me to meet with another gentleman to go over what they wanted for signage above the entrance.

“Ann was my daughter, and we are naming the Emergency Room here after her.”

As I was visiting with this gentleman, whom was one of the donors to the Clinic, he had asked me if I knew the story behind Ann Nicole Nelson. I replied that I had, as Minot State College here in Minot had named a Theater after her. (In case you don’t know, she was originally from Stanley, and was in one of the World Trade Center Towers that collapsed in New York.) I told him what a tragedy that the whole event was. His reply was, ‘Ann was my daughter, and we are naming the Emergency Room here after her.’ I was speechless, covered with goosebumps, and honored to have met him, and will always remember that meeting.”

A Successful Sign Program Leads to Gratified Staff & Customers

It’s not every day we get to help a customer in just about every one of our specialty areas. This particular project included: Monument signs, a Pylon sign with an EMC, Channel Letters, Vinyl Graphics, Digital Graphics, Wall Wraps, Routed PVC with Chemetal, Interior Wayfinding, and a Digital Display Board. “The entire project was enjoyable to coordinate, and the customer is very happy with the results.” Steve commented. “Although I thoroughly enjoyed getting the opportunity to transform the space, the best part for me was forming the relationship with the customer. I look forward to hearing from them, and going to visit every now and then.” Alex added.


Neon Signage – A Unique Solution for Your Unique Business

Posted on by Indigo Signworks, Inc. in Articles, Products, Services 1 Comment

Neon Signage – A Unique Solution for Your Unique Business

There’s just something about neon…  Neon lighting provides an unlikely marriage of delicate lines, intense light, and bright colors, surrounded by a familiar gentle glow. The result is a combination of eye catching contrast and gentle nostalgia that is sure to get noticed. 100 years after its introduction in the sign industry, neon still has the ability to make an impression like no other sign medium.

The Creative Process

The process by which neon tubes are created has gone largely unchanged since neon lamps were first invented. A specially trained glass blower, or neon tube bender, starts the process with a straight piece of glass tubing. To give the glass its unique shape, the tube bender uses a variety of torches, and considerable skill to heat the glass and carefully manipulate it one bend at a time. This process is not easy to learn, and can take a decade to master.

To date, there is no other way to shape a neon tube but by hand, and realistically there never will be. In fact, the single biggest technological advancement in the tube bending process over the last 100 years is the availability of computer generated patterns.  Once printed, the tube bender uses the paper pattern as a map to carefully plan the series of bends which will be needed to achieve the desired form. Think of it like attempting to complete a maze using a ballpoint pen.  If you don’t plan ahead, the finished product is sure to be a mess.

While the process of creating the neon tubes hasn’t changed, the industry that made it famous has. The advancement of LED technologies has largely replaced neon as a light form in a number of situations such as architectural borders and channel letters, as well as in products such as electronic message centers. As a result, neon production as an industry, has been reduced to a small fraction of what it once was. 

 

Neon’s Enchantment

Fortunately, exposed neon still has an impact that is hard to beat. If you are looking to make an impression on your customers and stand out from your neighbors, neon is the way to go. Custom window units feature energy efficient transformers, a large variety of color options, and long lasting reliability. Exterior and vintage neon signage is also available, ensuring your business’s unique identity will shine all the way down the block.

Indigo Signworks is one of the only full-service sign shops able to provide and service these glass gems in our region. If you would like to hear how neon can be incorporated into your business, contact your local Indigo Signworks office today!

View the Neon Gallery

 

 

Written by Chris Orth
Neon Technician
Chris is our resident neon aficionado at Indigo Signworks. He’s been working in the art of neon bending for the past 17 years. He has also pursued other artisan trades including stained glass and sheet metal shaping.