(Remember to join SEGD Portland on Tuesday, January 19 for a tour of this important facility. Drinks and hors d'ouvres provided. Tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite)
SEGD Portland is proud to introduce our 2016 Chapter Sponsor, Security Signs. Founded in 1925, Security signs has a longstanding legacy as a prominent sign provider in the Pacific Northwest. When Tom and Carol Keljo purchased the company in 1997, they revitalized it and expanded Security’s repertoire to include monument signs, channel letters, architectural graphics and wayfinding, among others. Under their leadership, and son Kevin Keljo (President/CEO), the company has grown from nine employees in 10,000 sq. ft. to a 48-employee shop that occupies a 43,000-sq.-ft. space.
Security Signs works on many types of projects across the nation and here in the Northwest. Carol notes that often, budget is the leading, or limiting, factor for many of Security’s projects. Value-engineering is always a goal.
“One of our project manager’s most important jobs is educating a customer about material choices and processes,” Keljo said. “There are plenty of ways for a dimensional sign to be made attractive, yet economical. For example, if your customer wants chrome letters for an interior sign, pre-fabricated letters with a chrome finish would be much more economical than a set of cast-chrome letters, yet still achieve the goal.”
The company fabricated a particularly challenging 3-D sign for the Portland Penny Diner, which references the coin that Frances Pettygrove and Asa Lovejoy flipped to determine the city’s name in 1845. To lure people in to try the restaurant’s creative bistro food, owners wanted a bracket-mounted, rotating sign that projected from a corner on its exterior walls.
“When designing a dimensional sign, we balance the client’s wants against code allowances, site conditions and potential installation issues,” Keljo said. “In some cases, such as if the client logo incorporates a narrow font, we tell them that we’ll have to broaden it to properly illuminate it and accommodate serifs and other letter forms.”
In addition to creating new landmark signage, Security Signs has a hand in maintaining some of Portland’s most visible landmarks. The historic Hollywood Theatre was built in downtown Portland’s southeastern Hollywood District. This beautiful and ornate theater opened in 1926. When the theater’s Foundation wanted to revamp its deteriorating marquee, Security Signs was there to help.
The Hollywood’s marquee was updated during the 1970’s in an effort to “modernize” the theater and help it compete with mushrooming, multi-screen “cineplex” chains. The marquee remained operational, but fell into disrepair and was a poor match to the theater’s ornate Byzantine facade.
Consequently, the theater sought a design inspired by the original 1926 marquee. Fernando Duarte Design (Sacramento, CA), known for crafting marquee-restoration plans, designed the reimagined Hollywood Theatre sign.
Kevin Hallwyler, Security’s project manager for the job, learned of the marquee revitalization during its early planning stages, and established a relationship with Doug Whyte, the foundation’s executive director. Hallwyler’s frequent communication, plus Security’s longstanding local stature, helped our bid be successful. The Hollywood received several renovations, but anticipation was high for the marquee’s rejuvenation.
This community-based project received funding through Kickstarter and local donations. The opportunity to rejuvenate something historic and to be part of the community was enticing – Security Signs contributed to the project with an in-kind donation and was rewarded with the satisfaction of executing a project of this magnitude.
Please join SEGD Portland on Tuesday, January 19 for a tour of this important facility. Drinks and hors d'ouvres provided.
Tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite
This article was created from two previously published works and reprinted with permission by “Signs of the Times”. Click on the links below to access the full articles.
“Security Signs Takes Portland Diner’s Sign for a Spin” by Steve Aust
“Security Signs Revives Historic Theater With New Marquee” by Carol Keljo.