Design Clinic: Sandblasted entry sign makeover

By Bob Behounek

Posted on Tuesday, August 28th, 2018

There was a time when it seemed that everyone wanted a sandblasted redwood or cedar sign. They are warm, strong, and the sandblasted grain surrounding the letters creates beautiful natural shadows. Nine times out of 10, redwood was the wood of choice. It was expensive, but it had great durability.

No matter what material is used, though, time takes its toll. Here we see a worn sandblasted sign that has likely been out in the sun for a decade or more. I notice some design elements from the ’70s perhaps—Bookman Italic with swashes. The condo management realized it was time to replace this sign as it was starting to rot.

Talking with the owners, they seem to like the longer, rather than taller, approach. On our example, there was an age disclaimer in the top left. I got the feeling that when this sign was produced this type of condo was just gaining popularity with our parents’ generation. It looks like they were trying to feature this age bracket with that small pill-shaped panel.


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Bob Behounek

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