Traditional burled gold leaf with a handpainted double shadow and a split shade on a van
CNC-carved HDU panel finished with 23K gold leaf and matte auto paints
White gold leaf and hand-painted outline
Traditional burled gold leaf with a hand-painted split shadow and shade
Full wrap with RealGold 22K gold Engine Turn sign vinyl [] on Brewster.
CNC-carved HDU panel finished with gold leaf and automotive pearl metallics on the shark
Traditional gold leaf, hand lettered in reverse, with a matte center, mirror outline, mother of pearl ornaments and a split shadow with a shade
Three shades of metallic green as the base, followed by hand-painted scales. The eyes cover the headlights and were done in reverse and held on with Velcro.
Airbrushed with House of Kolor urethane paint, then clear coated
White gold scrolls with a purple airbrushed tint. “The customer wanted this done in the style of the late Roy Mason, who did outstanding work.”
Digital design for business cards and stickers
Done on glass in reverse using RealGold 22K gold leaf film. The centers are matte RealGold film, and the outline is mirror RealGold film.
Pinstriped with 1 Shot enamel paints
Traditional 23K gold leaf and hand lettering on a restored 1948 Diamond T flatbed truck
Pinstriped with 1 Shot enamel paints
Pinstriped with 1 Shot enamel paints
Pinstriped with 1 Shot enamel paints
Pinstriped with 1 Shot enamel paints
Old school 23K gold leaf scroll work with asphaltum tints
Pinstriped with 1 Shot enamel paints
“We did the flames with yellows, reds and oranges,” says Peter, “then we put 12 coats of Candy Apple Red over it. In the daylight, it looked like you could put your hand in it.”
Peter Blackman

Profile: Peter Blackman

East Bridgewater, Massachusetts


Posted on Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

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Shop name: Blackman Designs

Shop size: 900 sq. ft.

Staff: 2

Age: 66

Graphics equipment:
Roland VS-540 printer/cutter
Royal Sovereign laminator

Peter Blackman attended Butera School of Art of Boston, Massachusetts, in the early 1970s. It was the beginning of an ongoing 45-year career in the sign industry that includes graphics, hand lettering, pinstriping, airbrush work, gilding and logo designs.

After graduating, he formed a partnership with Graphic Design Associates, where the focus was interior and exterior graphics as well as product design. A few years later, he started Blackman Designs and began doing custom work for Federated Department Stores—Jordan Marsh, Macy’s and Bloomingdales stores— traveling the country.

The work for Federated included display and décor work such as custom gold leaf work with tints that were applied to ceilings, walls and glass. He spent 20 years working with finishes and teaching techniques to craftspeople in flagship stores across the USA.

Today Blackman Designs LLC focuses on work for the fire and police departments and ambulance service companies in the towns surrounding East Bridgewater. Peter’s customers include Brewster Ambulance Service, local emergency medical services providers, as well as local businesses and trucking companies.

“I’ve always worked on jobs that were a challenge,” says Peter, “no matter what that was. I always saw that as an opportunity to perfect my skills and work to the best of my ability.”

Peter’s staff, Guy Lewis Jr. and Liz Gould, focus on digital, design, printing, cutting vinyl and installation. That now frees Peter up to choose the projects he prefers—mostly gold leaf work, pinstriping and other custom projects.

“I pinstripe a fair number of motorcycles,” says Peter, “which I enjoy because people usually want something unique. I do a lot of gold leaf on them, and sometimes some airbrush work.”

Along with sign work, Peter has plenty of other interests. He has studied Uechi Ryu Karate for over 45 years. He also enjoys photography and oil painting. He’s been married to Nancy for 43 years and they have two grown daughters, both talented in their own right.

“I’ve spent 45 years doing all sorts of sign, graphic and pinstriping work that came my way,” he says. “Now I want to do more of the work that I enjoy the most. This is an interesting business, and once it gets hold of you, it never really lets go. There’s always one more interesting project to do.”

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