It takes small patterns, perforated with a pin,...
...along with small brushes—and a steady hand.

Race car graphics at 1/25th scale

Sign painting roots in the graphics for scale model race cars

By Bob Behounek

Posted on Monday, October 29th, 2018

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Way back before video games totally engulfed the younger generation, an innocent world existed where kids made things by hand to play with and to use for hobbies. I’m talking about the Baby Boomers growing up in the post-war years, when a lot of us had to be creative to keep ourselves amused on a daily basis.

Most of us did not have a ton of toys, or money to buy things beyond our basic needs. Times like those were special in so many ways. We were pressed to create something from nothing almost every day. I remember our late President Kennedy telling us to “Ask not what your country could do for you, but what you could do for your country!’’ Here was our opportunity to find our niche and make a difference somehow. With all the craftsmen that had migrated here from “the old country,” there was plenty of visual inspiration!

In the very early 1960s, our industrial revolution was gaining momentum, and the auto manufacturers were cranking out some stellar products. Back then, design and function were competing on every new model, as so many other products of that era did: music, billboards, signage, home goods, commercial advertising. And almost everything we saw that was used to sell products was rendered by hand with a brush.

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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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