Phyllis and Jeff in 2017, as the addition to the shop was nearing completion
The two photos above show the 864 sq. ft. addition workspace
The original 600-sq-ft. workshop
Hand-carved prismatic Precision Board HDU letters, finished with aluminum leaf, on HDU layers over a ¼-in. aluminum background panel, with custom scrollwork by a local blacksmith
Sandblasted redwood done with hand cut stencil mask and finished with 1 Shot paints
Hand lettered DayGlo fluorescent paints over white latex base
Letters are ¾-in. Komacel PVC board finished with W&B gold leaf over three layers of ½-in. PVC board, finished with Nova Color Acrylic Paints. The grained effect was done with a handheld router and the secondary copy was hand carved. The tree graphic was CNC routed. “This was my first totally PVC sign,” says Jeff. “It’s 8-by-4-ft. and is mounted on a floating bracket to allow for expansion and contraction.”
Jeff at work at the living history museum at Rock Ledge Ranch.
Dry-brushed signs done with 1 Shot oil-based poster paint on naturally aged barn wood

Jeff Cahill

An inside look at a top designer’s studio, tools and workspace

By signcraft

Posted on Tuesday, August 27th, 2019

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If your SignCraft collection goes back that far, you’ll find Jeff Cahill on the cover of the Summer 1983 issue, along with a feature on him and his work inside. He had a busy commercial sign shop in Colorado Springs, Colorado, turning out hand lettering, sandblasted and dimensional signs. Over the years, his work was featured numerous times in SignCraft, and today finds him semi-retired but still at it from the shop next to his home in Woodland Park, Colorado. Not long ago, SignCraft asked Jeff to tell us more about his current setup and his work:

Hardware: I use Macintosh computers—one in the house and one in the shop—and MacSign software. I have a Summa plotter, but I don’t have a digital printer. I sub out most of my printing to They do a wonderful job, and I don’t have to make a payment on equipment or maintain it.

Fonts: There are a couple hundred fonts on my computer, and that’s more than enough for me. I don’t go shopping for more. For the primary copy, I often draw something up or hand letter it, then scan it in and clean it up so that I can cut it in vinyl. Sometimes I find it’s just as fast, in those cases, to cut the mask by hand and roll the paint on. I’m not dependent on the computer. I do a lot of hybrid stuff where I cut and roll the larger, main copy, then use cut vinyl on the smaller copy. For 3-D signs, most often I cut the lettering out on the band saw and jigsaw, then hand carve it. If necessary, I could also outsource the cutting and routing.

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