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Everything Old is New Again?

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Are handmade signs making a comeback?

Maybe it’s because we’re celebrating our 25th anniversary this year and we’re feeling a bit nostalgic, but Jeff Wooten and I have found ourselves writing more and more about projects that take a turn back to the traditional roots of sign making.

I’m talking about dimensional signs made only using hand tools rather than routers or cutters. And hand-painted signs created by brushstrokes rather than print heads.

This isn’t to discredit the technology of today—I don’t know many sign makers who would turn away the increase in work their digital printer has given them, or who would rather hand carve that order of twenty dimensional signs instead of turning on their router.

But it is an interesting trend that seems to be occurring—if a trend it can even be called.

Some of the traditionalists we’ve talked to tell us that the clients they attract are looking for something unique or one-of-a-kind in their signage. And in today’s world, where it’s hard to get a sign to stick out, a return to the handcrafted may not be a bad marketing technique.

What do you think? Is this influx of stories we’ve been receiving just a coincidental fluke? Or is the return to the traditional a trend you’ve witnessed, as well?

Either way, we’ll have plenty for you to mull over in our upcoming issues, including articles on hand-painted and hand-carved signs. And of course, for a look back at the last twenty-five years, don’t miss our special anniversary section in the August issue.



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