The Topeka Zoo wanted educational signage for their summer exhibit, Dinosaurs Alive! The exhibit features life-sized, animatronic dinosaurs that move and make sounds!

The signage needed to give in-depth information about the animatronic dinosaurs on display. And it needed to be as interesting to look at as the animatronic dinosaurs – a very tall order.


The Topeka Zoo’s marketing team met with Mainline Signs. Mainline Signs advised them to layer materials to give the signs a dimensional look. Dimensional signage is great for grabbing attention. The materials recommended were 3mm ACM and 6mm PVC. The ACM would be the main sign face, with other elements printed on PVC, routed, and affixed to the ACM.

Armed with this information, the Topeka Zoo’s design team created bright, approachable signs. They designated which sign elements to print on the ACM, and which to print on the PVC.

Not only did this make the signage eye-catching, it also enforced visual hierarchy.

ACM sign face with contour cut 6mm PVC elements adhered to the face.


First the 3mm ACM panels were printed on a flatbed printer. A flatbed router cut the ACM to size and shape.

The dimensional elements were then grouped on 6mm PVC panels and printed. The router made short work of cutting them into individual elements.

Cardboard templates were used to arrange the PVC titles. This ensured that the positioning of the letters was exactly the same as the digital design.

The PVC was fastened to the ACM panels using commercial grade double-sided tape and liquid silicone.

Be sure to check out the Topeka Zoo’s website for more details!