It is hard to believe that it was almost ten years ago I witnessed a CNC router in action for the very first time. I was fascinated with what I saw and simply had to have one! Although I had been in the creative end of the three dimensional sign business for most of my life I didn't really know what I would do with one - but I just knew it could do fantastic stuff.

Through extensive research and LOTS of hands-on practice I quickly found out that my MultiCam router was capable of just about anything imaginable.This journal will chronicle that journey to date and continue each week with two or three entries as I continue to explore just what is possible with this wonderful tool... -dan

Friday, May 22, 2015

Drawing by hand

These days I know many designers go right to their computer to work on a design. I like to start in my sketchbook with a good old fashioned pen. Even simple signs are designed this way.

Often the design is little more than a scribble... just enough to work out the specific ideas, fonts and textures I might use. Customers never see these roughs for they only serve to gather my thoughts - before I sit down in front of my computer.

Sometimes I do a little more work on these sketches. The font is nailed down, as is the background texture. Bevels and such are part of this rough plan as well. The idea is pretty much nailed in these more complex sketches.

And then there is the full blown concept drawings. I spend more time working out the ideas in my sketchbook, often as multiple drawings of various parts. Then I scan the sketches into my computer and using my drawing pad, rearrange and resize the components and then on a new layer redraw a final rendering. These drawings are for presentation to the customer. When it comes time for production I trace them again with vectors to start my routing files.