We just have to smile at the trends. Hand lettered signs have ben around since…practically forever. I will save the history of the Local Sign Shop for another post, but since about 1983, computers have been altering the natural course of this history, greatly reducing the level of creativity, skill, character, and artistry embodied in your typical sign. While the computer has enabled many with no particular talent or interest in the craft to call themselves “sign men”, we feel that a true sign shop should be able to point to a box of brushes, a shelf of One Shot Lettering Enamel, and know how to use ’em.
This is not to say that computers are all bad! We have a handful of them ’round here, and this is not to say that all folks who use them are not talented and capable, that is certainly not the case. Unfortunately for the American Streetscape however, computers have lowered the bar across the nation, opening the door of the Sign Shop business model to folks interested in business models only. Making money is that game, not making signs. Would you rather get your sign from a professional Sign Maker, or a professional Money Maker? We get the money thing, we need it too, but we have always felt that doing our passion will lead to it’s just reward. Our quality work, while sometimes not netting huge profits in cash, always nets big bonuses in personal satisfaction. We call that pride in our work. If we’re working for you, that’s a good thing on your end.
So why are we smiling? As traditional sign crafters, we are enjoying very much the fact that there is a resurgence of interest across the nation, young men and women are picking up the brush and learning how to use it. They are shedding the modern conveniences of computers and stick on letters for craft, art, effective style and old world techniques.
So be a trend setter and support your local Sign Painter, slow down for a moment and appreciate something unique, before it becomes common again! Better hurry up though, we’re getting busy.