Featured Customer: MS Companies of Indianapolis, exterior sign by TKO Signs
We’re happy to feature MS Companies as they celebrate 15 years of providing a qualified, trained workforce to support the manufacturing industry. They’re ISO certified, and they specialize in quality support services, contract employment and warehouse logistics. While they’re based in Indianapolis, MS Companies has multiple locations across the eastern half of the United States, and they can perform the job at your location or theirs. The Panaflex sign fits their image.  

Why Choose a Panaflex Sign?

Stretching 12′ in diameter, the MS Companies back-lit signs (on either side of their building) can easily be seen from I-465, day or night. TKO Signs National Account Manager, Lee Faulkner, notes that 3M’s Panaflex™ material is best used for oversized and uniquely shaped sign cabinets larger than 6’x12′. Complementing the high-tech image of the company, Lee used a bleed trim flex face, illuminating the surface from edge to edge. VP of Marketing, Karen Elliott, said MS Companies chose the Panaflex™ material based on TKO’s recommendation for its durability. She also explained customer reactions have been overwhelmingly positive.

“Some say the signs are like bright, shining beacons in the night! The new signs have increased attention and awareness which was our main objective.”
—Karen Elliott, VP of Marketing | MS Companies

Photographing an Exterior Back-lit Sign with HDR

I photographed the sign just before dusk when both natural and artificial light blend well together. The timing of a dusk/dawn shoot is critical, as the light fades fast. I used HDR (high dynamic range) to greatly expand the tonal depth and exposure, bracketing several stops under/over. This means I made several lighter and darker images with a tripod and electronic cable release, which captured detail in both the darker (shadows) and lighter (highlights) parts of the scene.

I also used my tripod’s liquid levels to straighten the building’s perspective or lines. I then combined the images in the snippet below in Photoshop to make one image. This allows for a more evenly-lit, yet, moody image. It should resemble what the natural eye sees, since it can’t all be captured in a single exposure. I often use HDR to balance and correct lighting, but other lighting techniques can be used as well.

HDR bracket showing various images taken.
Four images photographed at various exposures combined to create the final image above of the MS Panaflex sign.

Check out MS Companies on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, and keep up with their latest, or visit them directly.

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