Arborland Mall

3600 Washtenaw Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Photo courtesy of Ann Arbor News.

The Challenge

Familiar & beloved the iconic Arborland Mall sign could simply NOT be changed in any way. However, it was in serious need of repair. The neon trimmed “A” was long past it’s prime & Time & Temperature Sign hadn’t worked in years. The rusty old poles were becoming an eyesore, and the primary faces were wasting away. We needed to address all these issues, and we needed to accomplish it in a timely efficient manner, without changing to overall look of the sign.

The Plan

Changing the primary face & rhomboid cabinet were easy enough. We rebuilt the cabinet with all new structure & fitted it with new high efficiency, long lasting L.E.D lighting. We replaced the faces & frames with new heavy weight flexible material & stretcher frames. The big “A” required a little more innovative thinking, we wanted to retain the look of neon, without the high operating cost & frequent maintenance neon requires. We came up with a solution unique to this project, We built long ”sticks” of fabricated aluminum channel with recoverable faces, for future service access. Within the sticks we placed L.E.D light strips, the power supplies are accessible through the outer skin of the cabinet. The old Time & temp unit was replaced with a new full color, high resolution electronic message center. We couldhave simply repainted the old poles & it would have been an improvement, but we wanted them to make statement, so we developed a new (2) part cover system, finished in bronze metallic, with integrated reveals. Not only do they look much better the new aluminum covers also protect the old steel poles from further erosion.

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The Result

The freshly renovated Arborland Mall sign lives on, to the casual observer, it remains unchanged. To the client, they will save thousands of dollars over the life of the sign. The low operating cost, low maintenance, and improved appearance are invaluable. The renovated sign has a much smaller environmental footprint and will burn brighter for years to come!
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        Photo courtesy of Ann Arbor News

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          Photo courtesy of Ann Arbor News

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              The Author

              Scott Wilkie is a graphic designer at Johnson Sign and assists clients with logo creation and preparing files for production.