Third Place Winner of the AFB 2022 Project of the Year Award

Third Place Winner of the AFB 2022 Project of the Year Award缩略图

Turtle enjoying the printed graphics used in the tank.

Signs Now of Erie, PA, achieved Third Place in the Alliance Franchise Brands (AFB) 2022 Project of the Year competition. The submission, a collaborative effort by Owner/President Sue Hawley, encapsulated two months of hard work.

Signs Now Erie partnered with the Regional Science Consortium, situated on the picturesque shores of Lake Erie. Together, they conceived and brought to life the “Interactive Wetland Model” exhibit, which also featured a captivating turtle tank display. This exhibit artfully communicates the far-reaching impacts of rural, suburban, and urban environments on wetlands, underlining their ecological importance.

(Note: For more information, explore the First Place and Second Place winners of the AFB 2022 Project of the Year competition.)

Erie_6957 Interactive Wetland Model display.

Sue Hawley, the Owner/President of Signs Now Erie, recounted their involvement in the project: “The Regional Science Consortium approached us for assistance in conceptualizing, designing, and manufacturing the components required for their Wetlands educational display. This interactive exhibit is intended to enlighten students by allowing them to ‘drop a plastic ball’ down the pipes and observe its journey into the wetlands, effectively illustrating how various factors impact our nation’s wetlands.”

Moreover, the exhibit includes removable “stoppers” that can be inserted into the pipes, demonstrating how environmental adjustments can mitigate the impact on wetlands.

For the creation of this educational masterpiece, Signs Now Erie employed 3M 7125 cut vinyls for the skyline and the “Regional Science Consortium” display title. In addition, they utilized polystyrene with printed materials, angle aluminum, and supplementary PVC components for the pipe inserts.

A variety of other signs were also used throughout the educational display:

Erie_6777 1/4-inch clear acrylic with reverse-print clear backed in with stand-offs. Erie_6006 Dimensional foam and acrylic letters with printed vinyl to cover the fronts of the letters. Erie_6192 Slider plates for question-and-answer signs with printed clear labels for copy.


Erie_5987 3M IJ-35 for the full wall graphics on the tank inserts and entrance walls. Reverse prints on clear with white backer vinyl for turtle tanks vegetation/wetland background. Erie_6388 3M IJ-35 information prints about the five turtles wrapped onto electric boxes.

Regarding the electric boxes, Hawley elaborated on the concept, explaining that they were employed to provide valuable educational information about the five turtles featured in the Wetlands display.

In reference to the printed graphics within the turtle tank, Hawley pointed out, “Turtles are truly drawn to this setup. Research has demonstrated that they feel more at ease when their environment closely resembles their natural habitat.”