Artisanal Advertising: Reviving the Tradition of Hand-Painted Signs
Now that anyone with Photoshop can pretend they're a graphic designer, the art of signage has lost its luster. But before cheaply made vinyl banners took the heart out the sign industry, hand painting billboards and shop windows was a highly valued skill, and literally the only way to go.
"Vinyl plotters allowed all of these people to open shops that put out terrible signage."
In any urban are…
The Disappearing Art of Porcelain Signs
I liked to collect things even as a child. Things that didn’t cost anything, like different colors of stones.
There was something about the advertising that I liked, so in the mid-1970s, I started to pick up porcelain signs. I got heavier and heavier into that, and by the 1980s, I had a fairly substantial collection.
As a result of collecting telephone signs, I would run into other advertisin…
Signs, Tins, and Other Advertising Antiques
How did I get started collecting advertising antiques? My dad was a lecturer and tutor in graphics and art from the 1960s onwards, and was into vintage automobiles and advertising, like vintage signs, pumps, and globes. So I spent the large portion of my childhood going to auto swap meets and antiques fairs, I think it all started from there.
The first thing I collected was old bottles. In one …
Signs for Mariners
Signs have always furnished a vivid means of advertising wares and attracting the attention of prospective buyers. Pictorial designs on early taverns, and commercial ones, not only made them more attractive to the eye but told the many who could not read what was for sale within.
Quite early in 1634 our Puritan fathers stipulated that the price of a meal would be sixpence, and a quart of al…