New life for old sign layouts

By SignCraft.com

Posted on Tuesday, November 29th, 2022

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Nothing makes a better case for the power of effective signs than before-and-after photos. Seeing, it seems, really is believing.

Sometimes it’s the drastic comparison of a professionally-made sign to a homemade one. In other cases the “before” was perfectly adequate identification for the business. The “after” photo shows the potential that was there—the opportunity to deliver extra punch, better legibility and more visual appeal. Who could challenge the benefit those can bring a business?

Before-and-after photos show that a sign can have the same copy, be the same size, use the same materials, and maybe even be the same shape—yet the new version can be a far more effective product. Customers can see the difference, and savvy sign makers can learn a lot from the comparison.

Seeing what makes the “after” a stronger sign is a great opportunity if you take the time to dissect the differences in it. How did the sign maker use contrast in color and line value? How was the copy organized to get the main message across first? What makes the color and type choices appropriate for the business?

The first “Before and After” article in SignCraft ran in our Fall 1980 issue. Since then we’ve featured them many times. We hope you enjoy this latest collection, and that you’ll send us some before-and-afters of your own.

David Showalter, David Design, Bryan, Ohio

Duncan Wilkie, ComSign, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Pierre Tardif, P. Tardif Inc., Val-Belair, Quebec, Canada

David Showalter, David Design, Bryan, Ohio

Chris Shuster, Bluegrass Designs, Winchester, Kentucky

4-ft.-by-30-in. hand-painted, burnished gold leaf sign on birch-faced plywood. “I did the previous sign for this customer,” says Bob Perry, Perry Signs, Isle of Wight, England.

Chris Shuster, Bluegrass Designs, Winchester, Kentucky

Chris Shuster, Bluegrass Designs, Winchester, Kentucky

“Most of my customers seem to like gold leaf at the moment,” says Bob Perry, Perry Signs, Isle of Wight, England. “I used burnished gold on this hand-painted, birch-faced plywood re-design; plus I think it’s a better layout than my previous sign for this customer.”

Chris Shuster, Bluegrass Designs, Winchester, Kentucky

16-ft.-by-20-in. hand-painted, gold leaf sign on birch-faced plywood. “The customer wanted a more traditional approach to the new sign,” says Bob Perry, Perry Signs, Isle of Wight, England.

Bob Perry, Perry Signs, Isle of Wight, England

Chris Shuster, Bluegrass Designs, Winchester, Kentucky

 

Chris Shuster, Bluegrass Designs, Winchester, Kentucky

Hand-painted, gold leaf sign on birch-faced plywood. Bob Perry, Perry Signs, Isle of Wight, England

Chris Shuster, Bluegrass Designs, Winchester, Kentucky

Gary Anderson, Bloomington Design, Bloomington, Indiana

Aluminum composite material [ACM] letters and knight helmet mounted on a SignFoam HDU board background sprayed with automotive paint. Mike Meyer, Meyer Signs, Mazeppa, Minnesota

Mike Moncton, A-Monk’s Sign Company, Glenview, Illinois

This appeared in the September/October 2009 issue of SignCraft.