Design Clinic: Restaurant window signs

Use each one to sell a different feature

By Bob Behounek

Posted on Saturday, February 23rd, 2019

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Much of my work in recent years centered around fascias and vehicle graphics, but it wasn’t always that way. In my early days, I was often called upon to decorate windows in neighborhood taps and grills. There were hundreds of them, family-owned and operated, all over the city. You probably know how they looked: quaint, yet each with a somewhat standard look. I remember those neon beverage signs hanging smack dab in the middle of the front window. Providing the signs for these businesses was interesting and always entertaining!

Usually the window signage and backgrounds were hand painted on the inside or “second surface” of the glass. If we just had one window to do, we would lay out all the signage on the outside or “first surface” of the glass, depending on the weather. If the weather was too bad or we had multiple windows to do, we made paper patterns to pounce at each location.

Later, vinyl graphics took over as the choice of production. But no matter how we produced these projects, the goal was to create a special and unique visual appearance at each and every location.

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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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