Negative Space Signs

Negative space or stencil-cut signs work well for smaller signs, finer detail, and a lower budget. Our Cor-Ten/stainless fabricated signs can involve much waterjet cutting, TIG welding and finishing. In contrast a negative space sign can be as simple as a single waterjet cutout with no welding and minimal finishing.

The trick with negative space signs, in general, is the entire sign graphic must work as a stencil, so the design can be cut out without losing any internal pieces. Often this is simple, done as a routine part of the work Bob does to adapt the design for the medium. Sometimes adding stencil tabs aesthetically just does not work, with the tabs distracting unacceptably from the overall appearance, in which case it's best to rethink the approach and choose a different graphic, a different font, or at worst a different medium.

Back to Signs - Intro

Sun Island's sign adapted from Celina Yarkin graphic is simple in construction - two thin stainless sheets sandwiching red plastic.

Sarah Kavage's Duwamish panel is more of an art piece than a sign. This was cut in 1/4" steel and can be found in South Park where 8th Ave ends at the Duwamish. The art piece superimposes a 1920's view of the scene.

Bob spent 16 hours smoothing and simplifying the graphics to make the most of the medium.

Vashon E-Bike's signs are a mix of stainless/Cor-Ten and simple negative space cuts in architectural grade aluminum.

Vashon Brewing's sign is a simple aluminum stencil cut, attached on standoffs in front of black plastic, and internally lit with rope lights.

Bob adapted their print artwork for the medium, simplifying the lighthouse and adding stencil tabs.