The Making of a Photopolymer Sign Expert and Artist: Part 1


Doing Photopolymer Right

At Nova Polymer we work with dozens of sign fabricators every year as educators and advisors. The goal has not only been to integrate photopolymer methodologies into a fabricator’s overall practice but also to ensure that the process can be efficient and profitable. This requires extensive effort on behalf of the employees who manage the process. Their efforts and ongoing education can turn photopolymer production into a high-level art that generates quality and profitable products.

One such fabricator is Chris Corry, an employee of Welch Signage in Scarborough Maine. Welch is a highly successful regional planner and fabricator of complex wayfinding sign systems. Eighteen months ago they were awarded a project that required hundreds of photopolymer signs and decided to use the opportunity to take the plunge into integrating photopolymer into their shop.

“We went from one project and after four months of getting comfortable with the process we ramped up to about 80% of my time on photopolymer,” stated Corry who clearly looks comfortable in the clean workshop surrounded by sign projects at various stages of completion, shop drawings, and sign samples. Corry continues; “Once we were able to get up to 100-300 signs per day we were able to tweak the process to make it more efficient and improve quality, mainly by changing the bulbs and refining the tipping process with the painter.”

Corry also makes sure to stay in close contact with Nova Polymer, mainly through the customer service helpline. “Starting up I was constantly on the phone with customer service and this continues even now.” Corry sees this constant contact and feedback important to success, particularly when pursuing new projects.

Average day at Welch signs

Average day of photopolymer production.

Moving forward Welch is looking to be more proactive with the photopolymer technology, experimenting with new substrates including sustainable materials like 3Form. “We would like to see designers take advantage of all the interesting things that photopolymer can do”, proclaims Corry who is working with Welch to provide samples as well as a gallery of examples.

experimenting with photopolymer signs

Experimenting with photopolymer materials and approaches.

With an efficient process, talented personnel, and innovative management it is clear that Welch made a successful bet moving over to photopolymer. Corry concludes, ”We are operating at five times the speed and efficiency as before and now have more time to be creative and realize the potential of the material.”

Contact us to learn more about bringing photopolymer production in-house.


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