- How do I pick my fonts?
We won't restrict you to the number of letters you can have on your custom wooden signs - that's old school. And, the best way to choose a font you like or that accentuates your message is to find signs in the Carved Sign Gallery or even the Carved Wood Sign Store that appeal to you and pass the description along to us in the "My Text & Images" field of your Wooden Personalized Sign order. The good news is also the bad news: There isn't a list or table of fonts you have to pick from. We don't restrict you at all that way - you can have anything you want. Name a font if you like - there are thousands!
There is never a charge for our Carved Wood Sign design proofs - No obligation, either - because there are many important factors to consider when planning how your Rustic Cabin Sign will look. Fonts are a powerful factor, as it determines how the actual text will appear. Text in one font can deliver a different message altogether than the same text of another font choice. Font choice alone can deliver formality, whimsy, rusticity and hundreds of themes: Western, Cartoon, Sailing, Hunting, Fishing, etc.
Here’s a small sampling of the most popular fonts we typically use on our carved custom wood signs (the font name is the sample text):
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CARVED WOOD SIGN DESIGN IMAGES? DO I PICK FROM SOME LIST?
THERE IS NO RESTRICTIONS TO WHAT YOU CAN HAVE FOR IMAGES There is NO page of graphics you are limited to choosing from. Images have a powerful impact on the message. One picture can make an interesting message even more compelling. Again, there is no restriction with images, either. What you may want for your sign design would come from one of these FOUR classes or packages of images...
SINGLE-SIMPLE: If all you want is a pine cone, a tree an animal silhouette or a heart - that's considered a single-simple image and adds between $26 and as much as $40, depending on the size of the plaque chosen.
SINGLE-COMPLEX: A single image that is complicated to create and carve like a tree house, or a four-wheeler or a Harley Davidson motorcycle - that's considered Single-Complex and costs between $36 and $50, depending on the size of the plaque chosen.
MULTIPLE-SIMPLE: If you want a scene with animals, a landscape, a lake scene with a fisherman - these are multiple-simple images and are naturally more complicated. They add between $50 and $64, depending on the size of the plaque chosen.
CUSTOM-COMPLEX: This is when we create a custom design or element that may require your original art or photo as for a Logo or other art file. This also includes requests for specific designs. For example not just an old tractor but a 1940 model A John Deere Tractor viewed from the right side - this adds between $72 and $96, depending on the size of the sign chosen.
While adding an image or multiple images will raise the cost with distinct predictability, it is always worth the investment. The reason for the higher cost is the increased amount of carving time and complexity necessary to engrave images into Carved Wooden Cabin Signs. The costs will vary, depending on what you want on your Rustic Cabin Sign, how large the image is and how complex the image is to carve. A single image will obviously be the least expensive, while a multiple image will require more work, and added cost. The most expensive option is custom requested, original art unique to the message, the owner and the carving artist’s repertoire. Here, graphics can be added according to your specifications, imagination or inspiration.
Here's the Single-Simple image: the hearts. It could have been a star; a pair of pine trees; a single silhouette and so on.
This is a Single-Complex image. One image to be sure - but pretty complicated - you get the drift...
The third example is of Multiple-Simple Images. These are the most common images found in our projects as you will see in our Carved Sign Gallery.
This example is Custom-Complex. This category is commissioned with a very specific intent and customer specification. It is with this fee that just about anything you might fancy is created for carving. There is a limitation to be sure - we do have to be able to carve it! This example was a request for a man and a woman fly fishing in a river at the base of a mountain. It could have just as easily been of a beaver wearing a Texas A & M ball cap while holding a bottle of beer. Or, a bear roasting marshmallows at a campfire. Or, a 1940's pick up truck towing a barbecue smoker! Cool Cabin sign!
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I don't know about you, but I do not always know what I want; but, I know it when I see it!
So, I have to pay before seeing what the Carved Wood Sign Designs will look like?
All of our Carved Wood Sign Designs are custom made to order. We do not make anything that is stock. Each is crafted to specification even if it's just "Dogs in Yard". Consequently all work is pre-paid, commissioned, artwork. We'll design your carved wooden signs by collaborating with you or your gifts recipient using scale renderings. We'll do that as much and as often as necessary to help you develop the perfect sentiment for your wood sign. NOTHING IS CARVED UNTIL YOU APPROVE THE PROOF!
So, yes...You place your order for your Custom Engraved Outdoor Carved Wood Sign and post your payment, describe what you want and what text is to be used. We then furnish an initial scale rendering to you based on your idea. At that point we are begin collaborating, re-submitting, refining and amending until we get to the PROOF you can approve for your Carved Wood Sign. We are going to send you exactly what's been designed by our Sign Makers and approved by you.
We exchange scale renderings (just like the one to the left here) via email so you can approve, refine or reject the concept of your project. A lot of Custom Wood Signs and Rustic Wooden Outdoor Cabin Signs that are being offered today are made from templates, stencils or an individuals hand-writing; often they are simply a wood-burning process and most of the routed ones provide little or no design freedom or any real customization. Even when vendors provide Laser Engraving processes (very expensive - but, very high resolution) or computer-guided routering techniques - they appear shallow, uninspired or (on the contrary) nearly perfect - to a fault. Our Custom Carved Wood Home and Cabin Signs and Engraved Rustic Outdoor Welcome Signs are deeply Erosion Engraved™ with natural boldness, depth and imagination! Erosion Engraving™ preserves the natural elements of the cedar's wood grain, embellishing the sculptural details of our Carved Wood Sign Designs for Home, Cabin, Camper or RV Personalized Wooden Designs.
Think of it as having an artist, Sign Maker and mentor guiding you through the creative process which begins with your own Personalized Rustic Outdoor Wooden Signs idea of what you want rather than finding something to make do.
So, it's only after you have had every opportunity to collaborate using color proofs enough times to be satisfied, that we begin the Carving of the Camp Sign Designs. (Here's the photo of the work proofed above it)
You will get what you saw in the approved proof...The Best surprise is no surprise!
The purpose of an effective Carved Wood Sign is delivering a message. It takes a whole lot more than throwing a bunch of letters on a panel and hoping folks will see it. Our Completed Custom Wood Signs are really compositions. Whether it’s any good or not depends on four critical factors: Balance, Rhythm, Oneness, and Harmony. For balance a good sign must be “pleasing” to the eye. A well-balanced wooden sign composition is optically effective and has a stability, of sorts, in the arrangement of the copy in relation to any other elements. There is a lot involved in this judgment for a competent sign writer – the amount of copy and supporting images.
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- Is there anything like a "Rule of Thumb" for the cost of your wood signs?
Yes. However, like most general guide lines there are lots of variables - like how much does a car cost? If you want a plain wood sign with text only and the size of the plaque is 11" or less in either dimension the cost would likely be close to $0.62/Square Inch. Larger signs made of 1" Real Western Red Cedar that is assembled with battens screw (Brass) applied on the reverse (which also means one side carved, only) cost approximately $75/Square Foot. Carved Wood Signs from laminated 1-5/16" thick cedar strips (like a butcher block or a bowling alley lane) cost $90 to $160/Square Foot. Just too many variables to predict.
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- How long does it take to get a Home or Cabin Carved Wood Sign?
Typically 7 to 10 business days. We try our best to respond to your order in 24 hours with an initial proof based on your idea. Sometimes the collaboration period can become extended if you are not available to comment to frequent email exchanges (We are at the computer all day - you may not be). Regardless, we do our best to create the Custom Wood Sign from your approved proof in 7 to 10 days. Having said all of this,you should know that that there are times of the year that we get very, very busy and we a small troop of master craftsman, journeyman carvers, gifted sign artists and sign maker so you just cannot hold us to this all the time.
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- Can you RUSH an order if necessary?
If you want, we can do a 5 business day RUSH delivery of your Custom Cabin Cabin Sign for $99 that are 5 pounds or less. Most of the fee covers a "gratuity" to one of our Erosion Engravers™ for after hours labor and the additional cost of 2nd Day Air UPS. Select UPS Ground for freight. The Fee includes an upgrade to 2nd Day Air...
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- Is the Carved Wood Signs for the Home okay for Outdoor Wood Plaque use?
Yes is an understatement...For centuries builders and artisans have valued Real Western Red Cedar for its natural beauty and durability. It is the outdoor wood of choice and has been for centuries - for instance: West Texas fence posts. The hallmark characteristic of Real Western Red Cedar, its profound natural durability, has preserved examples of native cultures for more than 100 years in the Totem Poles of the Northwest.
Real Western Red Cedar's unique aroma comes from naturally occurring thuja plicins in its heartwood. These aren't exotic plants or an endangered species. They are the fragrant natural compounds that give western red its pleasant aroma and protect the wood from deterioration. These compounds resist moisture and are toxic to decay-causing fungi and insects and preserve the wood to give it long lasting appeal. Unfinished red cedar has richly textured grain with colors ranging from mellow amber, reddish cinnamon and rich sienna browns. Its warm coloring is complimented by a uniform, fine-grained texture with a satin-like luster.
Real Western Red Cedar's lower density enhances its insulation value and makes it an easy wood to transport and handle. It’s also more stable dimensionally. Real Western Red Cedar is hydroscopic so it absorbs or releases moisture and maintains equilibrium with the atmosphere. It shrinks very little and is superior to all other coniferous woods in its resistance to warping, twisting, and checking. It is Real Western Red Cedar's exceptional dimensional stability that makes it so well suited for use in high moisture areas. The perfect Custom Wood Sign and Cabin Plaques Medium - Bar none!
Real Western Red Cedar is light-weight, achieves fine joinery, accepts finishes with ease and possesses outstanding dimensional stability and legendary durability. Real Western Red Cedar is the superior wood for nearly all purposes where attractive appearance and resistance to weather is important.
Real Western Red Cedar is often used naturally; however, most wood scientists encourage a finish treatment. Treating it can help to preserve it, which is really not necessary even if your custom wood sign will be located in a place making it susceptible to varying weather conditions. Because weather conditions don’t really affect cedar, it is not required that you treat it in order for it to keep its natural structure. Over time, however, the color of cedar will slowly weather to a silver-gray, and the grain will become raised. While this has an appeal for some applications, in the case of rustic outdoor carved cabin signs it is prudent to finish the wood and sustain a cycle of applications. Interestingly, Spar Varnish, Poly-Urethane and other marine finishes are actually not at all satisfactory – indeed, harmful.
We have a way better solution to durability than these old-fashioned approaches. Our modern finish system is formulated to enhance and enrich the natural durability and appearance of western red cedar which is oil-alkyd and cedar oil based and will protect and preserve graying for a minimum of two years providing a rich finish, enhancing Real Western Red Cedar's natural beauty thanks to its unique Sun-Blocking, UV protection. Our formula contains an antimicrobial that resists the growth of mildew and algae and Real Western Red Cedar Oil to refresh the unique odor and properties. The easiest way to maintain your rustic welcome signs and engraved camp, ranch and RV wood signs is to apply a refresher coat of our specialty wood finish each summer. Each 3.5 oz. spray bottle comes with two spray heads and liquid tubes to ensure long term performance of the dispenser.
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- Are the letters burned in or what? What's Erosion Engraving?
Our Custom Wood Signs and Rustic Engraved Outdoor Welcome Signs are deeply Erosion Engraved™ with natural boldness, depth and imagination! Erosion Engraving™ preserves the natural elements of the Cedar's Wood grain, embellishing the sculptural details of our Rustic Home, Cabin and Camper Personalized Welcome Signs. All of the text and images are deep into the Real Western Red Cedar shape. This is not wood burning - No stencils - No foam board - No CNC / Computer aided carving machines - Our Erosion Engraved™ Hand Carved Wood Signs are the real deal. Each Wood Cabin Plaque is crafted by Master Craftsmen and Journeyman Sign Makers and Wood Carvers from original art drawn by Gifted Artists...get what we mean - NOT ticky tacky. After Erosion Engraving™, the text and images are accentuated with weather-resistant, Black pigment to improve the contrast and enrich the appearance of the Rustic Outdoor Sign or Personalized Hand Carved Cabin Sign.
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- What colors are offered?
After Erosion Engraving™, the text and images are accentuated with Black pigment to improve the contrast and enrich the appearance of the sign. Unfortunately, Black is the only color we offer. "You can have any color you want as long as it's black", is what Henry Ford suggested about the Model T....
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How will my sign be shipped?
Your Carved Wood Sign will be packaged carefully for shipment. We don't use those irritating packing peanuts, either! We ship exclusively with UPS and you will be provided the tracking tracking numbers for your custom wood sign once it has been picked up by them - each day - mid-afternoon.
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- Is my Rustic Outdoor Carved Wood Cabin Sign treated or finished with something?
Real Western Red Cedar is used for the creation of many items. It is chosen because of its amazing properties, appearance and texture. Real Western Red Cedar's popularity as a building material dates back 200 years or more along the Northwest coast and for many hundreds more by Native Americans. As a matter of fact, this legendary tree’s properties and versatility prompted the first Americans to revere the Real Western Red Cedar so much it became a central part of their lives. Early craftsman carved storage containers and masks from the tree’s heartwood and wove bark into mats, baskets and rope. Remnants of water-repellent clothing remain today.
The wood of the Real Western Red Cedar is aromatic, light, soft, straight-grained, not particularly strong yet very resistant to decay. Resistance to decay is due to powerful fungicides in the wood…fallen Cedar trees remains sound for a 100 years or more. When unfinished, Real Western Red Cedar has a rich texture combined with warm, mellow tones. The grain is very tactile, and the tones can range from light amber to deep honey brown. Its natural luster cannot be duplicated by any man-made material, which makes cedar very unique. Today, Real Western Red Cedar is used for greenhouses, siding, shingles and fences because it is such an amazingly resilient building material.
Real Western Red cedar has a wonderfully distinctive fragrance, and is very pleasing. This only serves to add one more dimension to the universal appeal of this very popular wood. Yet another reason Real Western Red Cedar lends itself to custom Carved Wood Signs and Rustic Cabin Signs.
Real Western Red Cedar is often used naturally; however, most wood scientists encourage a finish treatment. Treating it can help to preserve it, which is really not necessary even if your sign will be located in a place making it susceptible to varying, weather conditions. Because weather conditions don’t really affect cedar, it is not required that you treat it in order for it to keep its natural structure. Over time, however, the color of Real Western Red Cedar will slowly weather to a silver-gray, and the grain will become raised. While this has an appeal for some applications, like Cabin Signs, in the case of custom personalized wood signs it is prudent to finish the wood and sustain a cycle of applications.
Our 3.5 oz Bottle is only $14.99.
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- Now What? I really don't know what I want!
Don’t know what you want but will when you see it? You feel that way because everybody does.
The problem is you often never find the means to gather enough information or samples or insights to actually find what it is you want. The granddaddy look-about-tool of all time, of course, is the internet because it has tons and tons of ideas. Those ideas don’t necessarily fill your niche, fit your need or satisfy your longing because you don’t know what you want – remember?
A couple of things make this enlightenment possible. The first is obviously the large number of contributions. The other one is absolute altruism. Many, in fact, most folks, will graciously donate their time and talent - to make the world better place to be – free for nothin’.
If you use the internet like you were browsing through a magazine at the dentist’s office, you will never find your whatchamacallit because you need to use keywords. Literally ask for exactly what you want or are looking for: Carved Rustic Cabin Welcome Signs; Stainless Steel Bird Cage; Paper that doesn’t tear – anything at all. You need to Google (that’s actually become techno-speak for, “Ask”) what you want - that’s what will be delivered to you! Among all of those responses you will receive will be listed, in order of relevance, the sources and suppliers of the keywords you used.
Now the work really begins because you have to sort out which of the returns/results is the “golf ball to the groin” or the gratuitous unselfishness of the few who will magnanimously help you find what you want by letting you see it. There will be plenty of near misses. There will be sites with pictures of what looks to be what you want. There will even be sites dedicated to creating what it is that you want. The problem becomes finding the site, company, person or team which will actually assist you by understanding that you don’t necessarily know what you want but will when you see it.
Lost of the “hit’s” you receive will be relevant if you used specific keywords. What is included; however, are all of the things that are just products by the keyword name. You will find precious few vendors which will work with you in collaboration – even in advance of an order! Paper that doesn’t tear for instance might very well be available in 100 foot rolls in white and brown. Your problem will become being able to collaborate with anyone there to see if they can furnish you 25 feet of black paper that won’t tear.
Take heart! Those folks are out there and they will be increasing in numbers because what you want and need is universal and the power of innovation is beginning to move from only a few in the know to the many. It’s a little like American Idol for vendors and providers of extraordinary services. Thus, our fifty cents worth. If you have an idea about what you want for a Carved Wood Sign and just want to talk about it first; or, maybe send us a sketch you have. See our Testimonials, Or, Cabin Names or certainly the Carved Sign Gallery.
Email us or send any images to email@example.com or fax them to (612) 435-4342. If you would want to see oodles and oodles of previous sign projects to consider the shapes, fonts and design elements others have employed, check out the Carved Sign Gallery!
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- Which is correct Jones' or Joneses'
Putting your apostrophes in the right places on those ubiquitous Carved Wood Cabin Signs is pretty easy once you know the rules. There is no greater motivation than having all those grammatical fuddy-duddies think better of you, either! But, before examining the rules for the apostrophes use and how its literary status has earned it’s reputation, I want to make one thing really clear…I’m writing this to be helpful – that’s all. I couldn't care less if you get your apostrophes wrong. There are plenty more important things in life and nature to get on a soap box over! Besides, this stuff (and the rules) is not written in granite!
The apostrophe has four primary uses: possession, omission (contractions), plurals, & phrases of time or measure; however, when it comes to knowing how best to create proper identification on Personalized Welcome Signs we’ll focus on the mystery of the possessive and plurals business only – time and omissions wait for no man! At the most basic level, if you need to make a possessive, turn the phrase around and make it an "of the..." phrase. For example: the man’s hat = the hat of the man; or, three days' trip = trip of three days. Once it’s been determined that you need to make a possessive, here’s the rules to create one: add 's to the singular form of the word (even if it ends in -s) like the neighbor’s car or Louis's hat. Add 's to the plural forms that do not end in –s like, the children's toys and the moose’s whistle. Add just the ' to the end of plural nouns that end in –s like, houses' decks and three dogs’ tails. Add 's to the end of compound words like, my mother-in-law's comments. Finally, add 's to the last of compound nouns to show joint possession of an object like, Thom & Elaine’s Cabin.
And, of course a few exceptions (as shocked as I am sure you are!): Some words sound awkward when an apostrophe 's' is added, like Jesus's disciples, so the accepted form is to just use the 's' apostrophe: Jesus' disciples. Interestingly enough, this only applies to names of Biblical or historical significance e.g. Jesus, Moses, Ramses…Moses' followers, Ramses' pyramid. Still others don't have a clutsy sound, like the princess's bed. Just be consistent! Although it may be worth noting that some “experts will say something like, “…words ending with an s present a problem. There are two valid options in this case. It is either Jesus' teaching or Jesus's teaching. Elegance would seem to preclude the latter….” See what I mean about being consistent!
The confusion really arises when the apostrophe is used with a plural noun – The vipers’ den…more than one snake in that den so the s’ – the den of the vipers! Generally speaking, if there's one owner - add an apostrophe and then 's' and if there are two or more owners - add 's' then an apostrophe. For words which form their plural by changing internal letters (instead of adding 's'), like the children’s table…it’s already plural – we don’t pile it on! It’s the same with words people, women…and so on. When using names that end in S, you follow the same rules as with any other name and add apostrophe S: Thomas’s car. Plural names also follow the same rules: Thomases’ house (add -es to names that end in S to indicate plural form). For anyone else whose name ends in S, you generally let your ear be your guide. If Lars's house sounds awkward, feel free to omit the final S. The only rule in this case is that you must (MUST) be consistent. You can't have Lars' two-car garage then Lars's property. On a Rustic Custom Wood Sign for the Home, Cabin or Camper – it’s just not going to happen!
This whole business of Apostrophological Anomalies (I can’t believe I used that again!) stirs passionately among some folks, and there have been whole sub-cultures formed to lobby for the universal observance of the mystery of the apostrophe. I am not of that belief set; I’m just a sign guy; however, I'm pretty sensitive about getting these things right. I think all you really have to ask yourself is, “Does my Custom Wood Sign refer to the object to which it’s attached, Larson’s Cabin?” And then, is it the whole gangs’ cabin? Either way, I just don’t think it’s grammatical its, “Apostrophological!”
We love Real Real Western Red Cedar and have been using this amazing and legendary medium for over 40 years in construction and our art of Carved Wood Sign Designs for Home, Cabin and Camper.
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- Is there some hardware installed or a way to mount my Carved Wood Sign?
Each of our Sign Designs and Personalized Rustic Welcome Signs come with brass screw-eyes installed on the top edge of the sign. (Stainless Steel is used on large signs) Both of which are designed to deliver no rust or stain problems for your wooden sign long term. The Rustic Cabin Signs can be suspended or hung like a picture as designed. There's nothing wrong with drilling holes through the Real Western Red cedar board and attaching it directly to a tree or post, either. Please consider brass screws; however, to keep the sign looking nice and stain free for years to come.
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- How would you know your Rustic Carved Wood Sign Design was done well?
Whether your sign is any good or not depends on four critical factors: Balance, Rhythm, Oneness, and Harmony. The most important purpose of a sign is delivering a message. It takes a whole lot more than throwing a bunch of letters on a Plaque and hoping folks will see it. A completed Carved Wood Sign and Rustic Outdoor Cabin Sign is really a composition.
For balance a good Custom Wood Sign must be "pleasing" to the eye. It is the weight distribution that is considered first. It's not necessarily done symmetrically; rather, a well-balanced sign composition is optically effective and has a stability of sorts in the arrangement of the copy in relation to each of the other elements. There is a lot which is involved in this judgment for the competent sign writer the amount of copy, any illustrations or supporting images, letter styles, and certainly what the sign is supposed to do; advertise, sell, welcome, etc. Also, how far will it the wood sign be viewed from and how fast will the viewer be traveling, if at all. When the customer brings the Sign Maker copy that looks like a newspaper ad and doesn't allow any freedom for the professional to edit believing every word is essential there is often no hope for achieving a balance in the Carved Wood Sign's layout.
Rhythm is what many signs lack due the Sign Maker's judgment in selecting too many letter styles in the same work. Aesthetically speaking, most Carved Wood Rustic Cabin and Camper Signs look best when only one or two letter fonts are incorporated. Often modest variations of a font can be introduced to reduce rhythm interference when bringing impact and interest; however, too many styles of lettering on one Carved Outdoor Welcome Plaque is visually distressing.
Oneness is when Sign Designs that have several groups of copy or messages and the viewer's eye smoothly follows the flow of the message from the primary message on to the secondary and finally onto the most subordinate. It can be achieved, or at least enhanced, by dividing the three messages and creating emphasis using reverse panels, boldness and other emphasis techniques.
Harmony is nothing more that incorporating the first three elements with discipline balance, rhythm and oneness. Without being sensitive to copy grouping, letter styles and things like coloring no layout will be achieved that has harmony. A prefect example of this is in the use of borders. Often borders on signs are completely unnecessary and only serve to distract the eye instead of supporting a certain style of letter. This is especially true when the border is excessively strong or of strong color. In the case of border-less Carved Wood Sign for the Home or Cabin it is the flow of the graphics, shapes and lettering styles which provide the design and unity, balanced with uninterrupted harmony.
Almost always, customers will deliver copy and design expectations which are a far cry from the proof we render for their approval. It has been our experience, since 1966, that when folks let us exercise our Sign Maker's Design expertise by interpreting balance, rhythm, unity and harmony with professionalism and style their Plaques and Custom Wood Signs deliver attractive and effective composition.
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