Sign Painting – Adding a Human Touch to your Business Identity

Placing importance on simple messages, typography, and color, hand painted signs and advertisements can add a lot to a business identity. Sometimes the signs outlive there businesses, as with the ongoing interest of so-called ‘Ghost Signs’, hand painted signs leftover from the period of popularity which ended in 70’s. Many of these signs still remain in their original locations. Left for nostalgia, appreciation of the artistry or indifference by owners, Ghost Signs are faded reminders of the past, and a source for inspiration for those who see hand painted signs as a important now as the once were.

50 Signs by Colin Dunn

Companies and shop owners often hesitate for hand painted options because of cost, time and the ability to produce realistic image on the now common vinyl signage, which, when it comes to advertising, is often necessary. But when it comes to business signage that doesn’t need to realistic, the stylistic touch of a hand painted sign can add a lot to the business and the neighborhood. The outcome can fall into many differing styles and leave a business with a timeless, crafty, funky, edgy,… identity.

Image from rectro | verso

A recent revival of hand painted signs is evident by a number of companies starting up, and the recent release of books like 50 Signs, films like, The Sign Painter Movie and blogs like Ghost Signs dedicated the the past, present an future of the craft. Here is a look at some Ghost Signs, Contemporary and one sign painter who, along with a tight-nit group of others, has been keeping sign painting in the mainstream.

Ghost Signs

Ghost Signs

tailors_clothing The_Municipal


Ghost Signs



Made by Cows


Welcome_Sign Chicago_Red_Hots




Signs by Jeff Canham

Tattoo No_Phones_Beyond

Header image by daemonsquire

Author: evad
David Sommers has been loving color as COLOURlovers' Blog Editor-in-Chief for the past two years. When he's not neck deep in a rainbow he's loving other things with The Post Family (, a Chicago-based art blog, artist collective & gallery.