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Where Vintage Signs Are Being Placed

vintage signage

Vintage signs are really unique. Those from 1890 to 1950 have a certain original look that has never been duplicated. They include the Route 66 road sign,Campbell’s soup label, Coca cola or hotel signs for Shower Shave and a Bed for 5 cents. They are really unique and can almost be a conversation piece!

They weren’t vintage when they first came out. In those days, they were modern. Cowboys passing through town would appreciate knowing that a beer was 2 cents. Many modern day products have great collectible old signage that fetch outrageous prices at an auction.

Once commonplace, these are great memorabilia to be framed or otherwise displayed in the home or living area. They cover a variety of products and services – from food and drink to lodging, motor oil, tobacco, automobiles and beer.

Because they have a slightly rough, handmade look about them, no two are exactly the same. They may be hand painted or stenciled, but they were not made by any machine. They were labors of love, intended to reel in the customers in a low key but effective way. This was long before the neon signs of today.

Vintage Signage for Cheap Display Advertising

internally illuminated shop signA vanilla shake or banana split display would be posted behind the counter of many 5 and 10 cent department stores. Just imagining that things were once so inexpensive is another part of old signs’ appeal. Most everything has risen in price many times – so it’s nice to recall the good old days!

In reality, these costs were accurate for the times – people’s paychecks were also much less than now! – but it is nevertheless fun to fantasize! Another place to find old vintage signs is on fruit packing crates. Apples, oranges and other fruit delights were often sent in delightfully decorated hand painted wooden packing crates.

These designs were so attractive that they have become an art form. The orange blossoms sitting beside the ripe and delicious looking orange, the baby birds sitting beside the apple on the fruit crate were lovely images that are hard to find nowadays.

Where Vintage Signs Used to be Displayed

Other old paintings showing these old displays of the past are near the railroad. There, sides of buildings were painted in a fresco design with the same type of motif. Some of the newer-fangled mock-signs incorporated electric wiring to modernize the look, which could look tasteful, but mostly was more of a disaster like a culture clash.

The wavy electrical tubing often detracted from the sign and made it harder to make out what the advertiser was attempting to say. These were known for their simplicity which successfully did a great job of show and tell.

One old signage for pancakes shows a stack of them on a plate, maple syrup on the side, and easy to read cursive script describing the product being advertised. Others might resemble a wagon wheel and include gold leaf lettering or a figure of some sort. These were the fancier types, after all, most were hand painted and lettered. Some were in a box style or a circular style.

The old gas station logos from the early 1950s are excellent which are both colorful and simple to read and understand. The conventional metal signs have been copied for the last three decades in an attempt to return to the look of rustic originality and down home quality.

Many natural foods type of restaurant prefers to use these kinds of displays to imply that nothing artificial has been added – it’s the real McCoy, plain Jane and original. This is a great message to share, since the majority of modern consumers are interested in eating food that hasn’t been biologically tampered with and is in harmony with the environment.

Vintage signs are not difficult to make. With a wood grained or stamped metal appearance and a simple message, you can create your own old-fashioned designs which influence buyers to feel that they have returned to an earlier, simpler time when our grandparents were still eating fresh apples right off the tree.

Check out custom making of vintage signs here: www.visigraph.com/signs-letters


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Barry K. Brown

Barry Brown has been in the Sign, Banner, Decal and Display Business for over 20 years. It isn't what he thought he'd do with his life, but he says he knows too much now to do anything else!

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