Design Clinic: 4-by-8 sign for a pet hospital

A little more color, a little more contrast and a little script add up to more appeal

By Bob Behounek

Posted on Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

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It’s not very often these days that a client walks into the shop, looking for a repaint on an existing sign. That’s what this Design Clinic centers around—a faded, painted sign. Stopping by to take a closer look at the actual sign revealed some interesting old-school sign technology at work. But the UV rays have taken their toll, causing big-time fading on its monochrome blue colors.

If you study the letter construction and letter sizes, there are some interesting points. I suspect that whoever painted this sign knew some basic letter construction. There seem to be a variety of letter styles incorporated into the layout.

Back before computers defined the “fonts on file”, I often saw signs like this. Actually there is an emotional feel to a sign done this way that we can all feel good about. Back then, roaming sign painters that we called “snappers” traveled from town to town painting or repainting signs for a living. Some were better than others, but overall they seemed to do work like this.

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Bob Behounek has spent over 40 years as a sign artist and pinstriper in the Chicago, Illinois, area.

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