Brazos Bend State Park, a 5,000-acre park on the Upper Texas Coast, is just 40 miles from downtown Houston and draws visitors from all over the world, but its 27-year-old wooden entrance sign was showing its age. With Texas State Parks facing ongoing budget cuts, they had to get creative about how to finance a new custom entrance sign that would make a great first impression.
Houston’s FOX affiliate recently profiled the crisis faced by Texas state parks. In the interview, Bryan Frazier of Texas State Parks promotions and marketing said, “What we had was a $4.6 million hole in this year’s budget to fill and one for next year as well, so we were facing budget situations where you know we had to look at all of our options to continue to do services that the public demands and wants. That got us to where some businesses, businesses that share our core mission, come to us and get involved.”
One of the businesses that stepped up to help was custom signage and graphics solutions provider, Signs By Tomorrow of Houston South. Sign center owner Thor Holder had been working with Texas Parks and Brazos Bend State Park for a number of years. He knew this important park needed a more sophisticated custom entrance sign than they could get through their usual methods, which include having local prison inmates make the custom signage.
To achieve a higher-end sign, Holder and his staff turned to a design that involved a combination of hand carving and detailed painting. The end product had to look fantastic but also meet the price point established by the park.
The final sign stands six feet tall and 15 feet wide and features a detailed three-dimensional representation of an American alligator, one of the park’s main attractions.
Due to its width, the custom sign is comprised of multiple panels but features sealed seams and a fiberglass overlay that allows for a seamless finish. The alligator cutout is covered with a polyfill that seals it and converts it to a very rigid molded piece that then is painted.
“A world-class park needs a world-class sign. And with the budgetary situation as it stands today, without Thor and Signs By Tomorrow’s help, a local business, there no way we would have a sign welcoming visitors from Houston and all over the world.”
-Steve Killian, Brazos Bend State Park park manager
To capture the character of the American alligator, Holder actually spent hours studying alligators up close and noting their texture and color for the most accurate reproduction.
The end result is striking signage design that makes a dramatic first impression and is manufactured to hold up for many years. Best of all, Best of all, thanks to donations of both time and materials from Signs By Tomorrow of Houston South, taxpayer dollars only had to pay for half the value of the sign.
When a private cruise line needed custom signage that could stand up to full sun, high winds and blowing sand on its private Haitian island, it turned to Signs By Tomorrow of Fort Lauderdale, FL for assistance.
Responding to the challenge, signage and graphics center owner Lynn Elsasser and her team developed signs that reinforced the look of each of the island’s themed neighborhoods while holding up to the demanding weather conditions. Various types of custom graphics were needed, including:
Using dibond materials printed on a flatbed and router cut, Signs By Tomorrow was able to deliver themed signs with a high-end, customized look designed to appeal to island visitors that could withstand the elements.
After providing a sample sign for testing in the extreme weather conditions, the client ordered production of dozens of the custom signs to be used throughout the island.
Custom outdoor signage is a smart investment in making a great first impression. Today’s materials are more versatile than ever, allowing you the opportunity to reinforce your brand while developing a marketing tool that will stand the test of time.