Municipal Entryway Signs – Creating a warm welcome with real and faux sign materials

First impressions are important for visitors to a community. It can also create a sense of pride for residents and businesses that call that city or village home.

Over the last few years, several municipalities have upgraded their geographic boundaries by installing eye catching entry monuments.

At Parvin-Clauss Sign Company, we’ve had the opportunity to design, fabricate and install several entry way signs for municipalities throughout the Chicagoland area.

These signs come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials. Some municipalities choose to use actual stone and masonry and others prefer to use faux materials to imitate stone, brick, wood and rusted steel finishes. Along with those materials, some customers favor illuminated signs and others non-illuminated displays.

Variations on Stone Entry Monument Signs

Des Plaines, Illinois, a northwestern suburb of Chicago, offers an excellent example of using a variety of entryway signs and materials at the many entry points throughout their city.

Its main identity sign near the city center is made of real stone with a reverse illuminated painted aluminum logo and a large Electronic Message Center (EMC). This dynamic 8mm digital display allows the city to update its citizens and visitors with news about upcoming civic events, to honor citizens, promote organizations and welcome dignitaries.

At the city’s secondary entry areas, faux stone monument signs or foamcraft signs are utilized. These areas have 9 foot faux pier markers with painted aluminum logo and letters, as shown below.

A larger 7’ by 11’ single face faux stone sign with flat cut out painted aluminum letters round out the entry area sign types. Creative landscaping around the signs beautifies the entryways to the city.

Other examples of faux stone finishes include entry monument signs in the southwest Chicago suburbs of  Lockport and Lemont.

Corten Steel - is it real or is it faux?

Of late, architects and designers have incorporated corten steel in construction designs for both homes and businesses. Corten steel is a naturally rusting steel material that is meant to weather quickly. It is now being incorporated into sign elements as well.

The City of Wheeling, Illinois, asked us to design, fabricate and install entry signs that feature naturally oxidizing corten steel. These signs feature an 8’ diameter corten steel wagon wheel. The identifying graphics utilize flat cut out acrylic letters and the name Wheeling in reverse illuminated (backlit) channel letters. Two LED ground spotlights illuminate the entire sign at night.

During the oxidization process, corten steel drips rust. Because of that, another Chicago suburb requested a painted aluminum background on their entry sign with a faux corten steel painted application. The sign also featured a stone base with natural barnwood landing area for its name, Homer Glen. The faux corten steel finish is painted and spares the buff limestone cap from any rust staining.

Whether our customers want natural materials for their signs or value engineered faux ones, Parvin-Clauss can deliver on their requirements. Our talented and experienced designers, fabricators and installers can create the perfect sign for welcoming visitors to your community.  We'd be pleased to assist you with your signage needs!