Tube Art Group designer produces detailed technical drawings that show how the company's custom signage and environmental graphics are to be fabricated, installed and maintained.
What do you do? I am a senior designer at Tube Art Group [in Bellevue]. Tube Art Group designs, manufactures and installs custom signage and environmental graphics for a variety of clients including retail, stadiums, transit and healthcare. My area of expertise is developing detailed technical drawings for complex sign structures. I produce drawings that show how the displays are to be fabricated, installed and maintained.
How did you get that job? Thirteen years ago, I was working as a freelance environmental graphic designer. Because of my previous experience as art director at Heath Sports Marketing, Tube Art Group hired me to draft a proposal for the Safeco Field scoreboards. They were happy with my finished project and hired me as a full-time member of the design team.
What’s a typical day like? A design-intent drawing is produced, showing a concept illustration of what the finished display will look like. I draw — using graphics software — elevation views, cross sections and exploded detail views. Production and installation specifications are added to the drawings and material lists are generated. Finished documents are approved by the client, then supplied to our manufacturing team.
What’s the best part of the job? The best part of my job is how hard it makes me think. It often is like figuring out a very large 3-D puzzle. For the displays to have the desired look, I have to choose the correct materials which often include metal, plastic and lighting. When it all comes together, the project is built, installed and looks beautiful, it is very gratifying.
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What surprises people about your job? How much engineering is involved. From experience, I know what type and size of frame should be used to support the display structure. On larger displays, my work is stamped by an engineer, and I’m always happy when no changes are necessary after the calculations have been done. People are also surprised by how many signs and displays in the area were produced by Tube Art Group, including CenturyLink Field, Sound Transit, Swedish Medical Center and Starbucks.