Sparkle Cleaners was recently honored with the Heritage Award for their part in restoring one of Tucson’s historic signs. Sign Magic partnered with the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation and Sparkle Cleaners to help bring some of Tucson’s past back to life. Drachman became a hot spot for restored historic signs back in March of 2012 when Pima Community College and the Historic Preservation Foundation joined forces to restore and reinstall a few of Tucson’s coolest old signs at Pima’s downtown campus. Being that Sparkle Cleaners has been here in Tucson for decades and is located on the Northwest corner of Drachman and Stone, right across the street from Pima’s downtown campus, it was only natural that their historic sign be included in this restoration project! The sign was originally erected back in 1955 when the Well and Wash first opened. This became a Sparkle Cleaners in 1961 and since then, Sparkle Cleaners have opened many other Tucson locations.
Why restore these old signs? Well, signs aren’t made how they used to be! In the old days, many of these signs were hand painted and they all used really cool neon lighting. Neon has to be hand blown and shaped to form certain letters or other formations, and this is no easy task. The difficulty in making and repairing these lights has made many people turn to more cost-effective solutions such as LED lighting. If you drive up Drachman and look at these signs you will see how compared to a lot of the signage used today, they are works of art.
The sign definitely needed a little TLC when it was first brought into our shop to begin restoration. There were places on the metal cabinet frame of the sign that were rusting and falling apart so this was the first problem to take care of. It received multiple layers of fresh paint, all new neon lighting, and new bulbs on the other lit parts of the sign because most of the lighting had long been out of use. Channel 4 News featured the sign and its story on the evening’s news, and The Arizona Daily Star had a photo and story written in the paper shortly after the sign went back up! Heath Bolin, president of Sparkle Cleaners, was awarded with this certificate and we here at Sign Magic are very proud to be a part of restoring Tucson’s past.
The Bruegger’s Bagels at Campbell and Speedway, by the U of A, just had a new sign go up! Bruegger’s Bagels is one of America’s favorite places to get freshly baked breakfast treats, and its no different for Tucson residents! The U of A location decided it was time for a face-lift and had Sign Magic make them a brand new sign! This sign is pan channel lettering mounted onto a raceway. The white faces of the letters are laser routed on our routing table from sheets of white acrylic. The pans and raceway are made from aluminum which is routed and bent into the shape of the letters. Each of these letter pans are lined with LED’s which allow the sign to light up each evening. The sign is on a timer which is set to turn on and off automatically. The letters are fixed to the raceway and then our install crew mounted the raceway to the building. Next time you are craving a delicious bagel, or are driving by the U of A, make sure to check out this new sign!
Sign Magic just put up another sign for the Vail School District. This time, the honor went to Sycamore Elementary School, on S. Houghton Rd. Vail is known for having excellent schools and have been recognized by the Arizona Educational Foundation. The A+ School of Excellence program is a comprehensive school assessment that celebrates and honors success in Arizona schools. This award is retained for 3 years before the school needs to reapply. Every one of Vail’s schools, (elementary, middle & high schools) have all received this award in recent years, some more than once! Sign Magic is proud to be a part of Vail’s success in educating Arizona’s youth.
Sign Magic has just fabricated and installed three new signs in a shopping center off Broadway! The first is for Little Bird children’s clothing. This was cut from white acrylic and the pans were mounted onto a raceway which was then mounted to the wall. This sign is lit with LED illumination. The next sign is for Picante. This is also cut acrylic but red instead of white. This sign is also a pan channel sign mounted onto a raceway and lit using LEDs. The third sign we did is for Yikes Toys. It was made in the same way as the other two, but yellow vinyl was applied to the white acrylic before being installed.