Blame it on the artist in me or my 34 years of art teaching experience while observing young minds that are easily bored with the ordinary. I feel that signs should command attention and even inspire a desire to touch. Dimensional elements on your sign paired with great fundamental design principles are a sure fire way to get noticed and stay in the mind’s eye of the viewer.

What does it take for an individual sign to catch and hold the viewer’s attention? Adding dimension to your sign immediately adds visual interest. By adding layers of depth, you engage the viewer’s mind as they analyze what they are seeing. Longer viewing time typically leads to increased memory retention. Isn’t that what your striving for? Not just to have a functional sign, but to also be memorable?


You are constantly surrounded by signage in public spaces; all competing for your attention. Signs that help you find your way and identify the purposes and characteristics of places and objects. Have you ever made a decision about checking out a place based on it’s signage? Beyond looking professional, what was it about the image that influenced your thinking? You just know you liked it, but you may not have been able to explain why!

Viewing an image subconsciously triggers your visual memory along with any emotional attachments acquired through life experiences. Even highly stylized images, (like symbols and logos), can evoke memories of smells, tastes, and feelings. A positive emotional response automatically draws you in just as a negative association may send you right on to the next place. Can you “taste” and “smell” the popcorn just by looking at the sign?


At Pica Grove, we blend our expertise in design principles and aesthetics, (what makes stuff look good) to create eye catching and memorable signs. Incorporating dimensional elements like the atom above in Innovations Stem Academy sign, (located in Sparta, WI). Elements such as these add a sense of complexity and novelty assured to impact the viewer’s level of attention and adds visual clues about your business.


We know, sometimes the budget gets in the way of your dream sign, but we will work with you to design an attractive sign that fits your plan. Options range from layered multiple levels with varying degrees of thickness as in the Island Outdoors Sign, (above), to high relief sculptural elements like the popcorn and yogurt sign below created for Carroll’s in the Valley View Mall in Onalaska, WI., (below). The dimensional elements can be 3-D printed, hand carved or CNC milled wood, PVC, EPS, (the beaded white foam), or HDU, (closed cell) foam. The material chosen is dependent on the degree of detail required to match your concept and the location of the sign; interior vs. outside in the elements.


Combinations of flat layers and sculpted elements were used to create this 28′ long sign for the Grid Iron Club House in Sparta, WI. The Spartan shield measures 6′ in diameter and features a painted Spartan mascot logo.


Have a theme in mind? Fennimore, WI has a rich railroad history, so when Bender’s Grocery built their new store, we used railroad tracks as a design element for all of the department signs. The 28″ high “DAIRY” is printed 1″ black foam board mounted over digitally printed railroad tracks. Did you notice the other 3-Dimensional elements, the old vintage milk bottles, the farm fresh eggs? How about the layered aisle marker signs with galvanized pipe hangers?


Here is another grocery store with a rustic theme. The entire store has the log and pine tree trim with dimensional department signs and a “BEER CAVE” sign with hand carved letters painted to simulate chiseled stone over a wooden barrel.



Speaking of barrels, here is another take on one fabricated for a liquor department. The seven foot diameter barrel is 4 ” thick and the whole display is over 14′ wide with the dimensional ribbon and wheat bundles. Imagine standing underneath and opening up the spigot!


If your after the novelty factor, check out this billboard we made for Mc Donald’s. The smile fry measures 15′ long and the Big Mac is 14′ wide by 11 ft high. Commuters can’t help but get hunger pangs !


On the opposite end of the scale factor, here you have a detail from a recognition display honoring employees with 25 years or more of service to S&S Cycle. Each individual plaque has a close up photo of the honoree’s motorcycle engine with a real S&S air cleaner cover wrapped with a colorful emblem featuring their name and number of years of service. The whole display has a layered theme set off with aluminum standoffs and images printed on brushed silver Dibond for a super classy look!

So is it worth it to invest in dimensional elements for your signage? The answer is a resounding yes! Give us a call and we can discuss how you might upgrade to some spectacular eye catching and memorable signage!