Monday, March 2, 2009

Green Signage in Produce

Incorporating recycled materials along with materials that can serve another purpose at the of their life cycle is a growing phenomenon. The concept of re-purposing materials fits with building environmentally conscious systems and reducing the amount of overall waste in a project. Most of us only think of recycling in terms of recycled content or if the material can be sent to a recycling center. The concept of re-purposing materials has many unique advantages.

Acorn Sign Graphics in Richmond, VA has embraced the methodologies behind sustainable design and has worked on several green project. Below are a few pictures of signage Acorn developed for a natural food grocery store.

According to Acorn’s President Beth Gillispie, “Ellwood Thompson’s, a natural foods grocery store whose philosophy is to be as sustainable as possible throughout the business—their products and their built environment. The design challenge is to make a modern store feel like a farmer’s market. We have worked with the owner/architect to redesign all their interior and exterior signage. Notice the frame system holding the point of purchase produce signs running along the walls and in the center displays. The structure is fabricated from steel rebar reclaimed from a large construction site. We had the rebar powder coated (more green friendly than paint) clear to contain the rusting and prevent rust from contaminating the produce or the hanging signage—but still allow the natural rust coloration to show through as a design element. Almost all steel is made of recycled material; this steel rebar is reclaimed as well—in its third life if you will. The system uses mechanical fastenings: see screws in center console assembly as well as the clips for the sign holders. The hanging clips are anodized aluminum carabiners, making it possible for the market to easily add to or reduce the number of signs. The sign holders are custom fabricated from clear PETG (recyclable material), heat bent to form the sandwich to hold each sign insert. This gives the store complete flexibility to make their own changeable 8.5x11 (recycled) paper inserts. So, reclaimed material, recyclable material (all parts), mechanical fasteners, durable, modular and changeable. Also notice the larger signs: direct to substrate printed on board panels (all eco-friendly materials and processes)."

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