Now you see it, now you don’t: Behind the magic of a disappearing sign

Take a few steps, and the entrance sign vanishes. How did that happen? Read on to see what tricks we have up our sleeves.

The Challenge

Our client had a new tenant moving into a space where the front entrance looked into the main conference room. Our client’s clever solution? Create a lobby sign that also doubles as a privacy screen. And to make things more interesting—add an optical illusion to make this a focal point in a rather open space.

Optical-illusion, multi panel wood sign / privacy screen at the San Francisco office of Compass, a modern real estate platform.
Optical-illusion, multi panel wood sign / privacy screen at the San Francisco office of Compass, a modern real estate platform.
Optical-illusion, multi panel wood sign / privacy screen at the San Francisco office of Compass, a modern real estate platform.

Step 1: Engineering

Careful planning was critical for the success of this project. The logo needed to be placed on the sign in a way where it could be read straight-on, yet disappears as the visitor walks right or left. There were technical challenges as well: sourcing extra-long lumber, making the installation simple (and removable), and most of all—getting all of it done on a tight timeline.

Optical-illusion, multi panel wood sign / privacy screen at the San Francisco office of Compass, a modern real estate platform.
Optical-illusion, multi panel wood sign / privacy screen at the San Francisco office of Compass, a modern real estate platform.
Optical-illusion, multi panel wood sign / privacy screen at the San Francisco office of Compass, a modern real estate platform.

Step 2: Fabrication

Now came the repetitive part of the project—cutting and milling all the wood. After getting all the pieces done, we cut vinyl and carefully applied them to the pieces.

Optical-illusion, multi panel wood sign / privacy screen at the San Francisco office of Compass, a modern real estate platform.
Optical-illusion, multi panel wood sign / privacy screen at the San Francisco office of Compass, a modern real estate platform.
Optical-illusion, multi panel wood sign / privacy screen at the San Francisco office of Compass, a modern real estate platform.
Optical-illusion, multi panel wood sign / privacy screen at the San Francisco office of Compass, a modern real estate platform.

Step 3: Installation

The alignment combs we created made installation simple. We’re glad we decided to leave all the wood pieces long so that we can measure and cut them on site. This way, each piece followed the deviations in the wall.

Optical-illusion, multi panel wood sign / privacy screen at the San Francisco office of Compass, a modern real estate platform.
Optical-illusion, multi panel wood sign / privacy screen at the San Francisco office of Compass, a modern real estate platform.
Optical-illusion, multi panel wood sign / privacy screen at the San Francisco office of Compass, a modern real estate platform.

Results

The sign was not only a statement piece from the entrance, but it made the conference room feel like a separate, private space. What was even more interesting than the logo disappearing was having it re-appear and coming into place when you turned the corner.

Optical-illusion, multi panel wood sign / privacy screen at the San Francisco office of Compass, a modern real estate platform.
Optical-illusion, multi panel wood sign / privacy screen at the San Francisco office of Compass, a modern real estate platform.
Optical-illusion, multi panel wood sign / privacy screen at the San Francisco office of Compass, a modern real estate platform.
Optical-illusion, multi panel wood sign / privacy screen at the San Francisco office of Compass, a modern real estate platform.
Optical-illusion, multi panel wood sign / privacy screen at the San Francisco office of Compass, a modern real estate platform.
Optical-illusion, multi panel wood sign / privacy screen at the San Francisco office of Compass, a modern real estate platform.
Optical-illusion, multi panel wood sign / privacy screen at the San Francisco office of Compass, a modern real estate platform.

Want a sign that makes heads turn?

Illusion or no illusion, we want to make you a sign people won’t forget. Whether you’re starting a new business, empowering a team, or making a first impression—count us in.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

Let’s build something great together.

Whether you’re starting new, empowering a team, or making a first impression—count us in.