Is Gold Leaf A Good Choice For Your Business?

Gold leaf. Shimmering, seductive, worthy of statuary and tombs for ancient gods, and for numerous works of art through the ages. The Egyptians were the first to perfect the process, followed by  improvements that have resulted in a technique that has changed little for thousands of years.

Today, gold leaf is usually found in architecture, fine art and commercial enterprises, specifically, the sign industry. As a handcrafted application, Paxton Signs uses the same tools now as when the Egyptians created their magnificent art. The incredible durability of gold (and other metal leafing materials) surpasses other traditional applications, such as vinyl and paint. Over time, gold will outlast those products by many years since it is resistant to most chemicals and weather conditions. Incredibly, Egyptian gold treasures are still in pristine condition after 5000 years!

Is Gold Leaf A Good Choice For Your Business?

Traditionally, professionals like lawyers and doctors prefer gold leaf. Businesses that want to project upscale appeal, such as horse enterprises, jewelers, resort areas, boutiques, bars, restaurants, and golf courses, are well served by utilizing gold leaf and other lustrous metals (copper, silver, aluminum). Owners of vehicles and boats may desire upscale graphics and will find that gold’s sumptuous sheen and durability is, by far, the best choice. And durability is perhaps one of the most attractive aspects of gold leaf: It’s common for gold leaf to last 20 years!

So, Gold Leaf Or Not To Gold Leaf?

The investment you make in your marketing efforts says a great deal about your business. It speaks volumes to your customers about your image. Considering the additional years of useful advertising that gold leaf offers, and using the professional sign design services offered by Paxton Signs, your choice “to gold leaf” will be one you will be happy with for many years.

Paxton Signs’ more than 39 year history includes hundreds of signs. Some are major monument signs, some small business signs. We’ve created ranch signs, lighted signs, signs made from recycled wood, hand-painted signs, carved signs, vehicle and fleet graphics – a continuous variety of communication art, serving Fort Collins, northern Colorado, and surrounding mountain communities.

View our Galleries by using the menu bar, above. Contact us at  970-221-5519

Paxton Signs – Crafted Signs – Plain or Fancy

• Sandblasted • Hand Carved • Hand Painted • Hand Lettered • Gold Leaf • Storefront • Dimensional • Residence • Vehicles • Murals • Logos • Identity

 

 

When Should You Update Your Sign?

What’s Your Sign’s Environment?

Most business owners face a particular challenge: the weather. The sun beats down relentlessly for part of the year, then snow, rain and wind can wreak havoc during the other half. Consequently, signs wear and age differently, based on their environment, but they ALL wear and age. The reality is, your sign’s life span will be shortened by weather extremes. When paint peels, colors fade, elements fall off, and weather takes its toll . . . time for a new look and a new sign!

Check your signs for wear. If they’re faded, rusting, peeling, or losing pieces, you should think about replacement. You can even improve the upgrade of your signs by using materials that are more durable and long-lasting, adding years to their life and usefulness.

Are You Changing Branding on Other Platforms?

 

 

If you’re toying with the idea of revamping your logo, changing your slogan, or maybe re-branding in an effort to capture a new corner of the market, then it’s time to consider your overall marketing program, including your signs. Whenever you update your other platforms, such as your website or packaging, your signage should be included for consistency across all channels of communication.

 How Do Customers Perceive Your Business?

Even if your signs are standing the test of time and you haven’t made changes to any internal graphics or branding, it still might be time to update. A fresh, new look, brighter colors – a new focus – could be the jump-start your business needs to improve lagging sales. Remember, influencing customer perception is always critical. Nothing grabs a customer’s attention like a fresh, new, beautifully designed storefront sign.

Is it Easy to Update Signage?

The thought of tackling a redesign of your business signs may sound intimidating, but the process isn’t difficult, in fact, Paxton Signs will guide you through the process for a pleasant, rewarding experience. And if you’re only looking to change vehicle graphics or secondary vinyl signage, it’s easy to freshen and update those as well. When you work with the professionals at Paxton Signs, you can easily achieve uniform quality and branding in every category of your marketing program.

At Paxton Signs, we’re ready to help update your business signs. Call today to get started transforming your old sign into a new, eye-catching design!

Paxton Signs’ more than 38 year history includes hundreds of signs. Some are major monument signs, some small business signs. We’ve created ranch signs, lighted signs, signs made from recycled wood, hand-painted signs, carved signs, vehicle and fleet graphics – a continuous variety of communication art, serving Fort Collins, northern Colorado, and surrounding mountain communities.

View our Galleries by using the menu bar, above. Contact us at 970-221-5519

Paxton Signs – Crafted Signs – Plain or Fancy

• Sandblasted • Hand Carved • Hand Painted • Hand Lettered • Gold Leaf • Storefront • Dimensional • Residence • Vehicles • Murals • Logos • Identity

Angled and Curved Text: Which way? How much? How far?

Most of us take text for granted. We see it nearly everyday of our lives starting from a very young age. Its purpose is universal: text – writing – allows societies to transmit information and share knowledge. Without it? Chaos. Although, there is a certain amount of chaos, due to the sheer variety of text images worldwide: Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Korean, Russian, etc. So, for the purpose of making signs, we’ll stick with English – the Romance language we all know – and its artistic treatments found in our culture…

Letterhead Fonts / LHF Centennial Panels 3 / Decorative PanelsThe sign industry has perfected artistic text by adding dimension, flourishes, faux finishes, and creative alternatives. But the industry’s most significant contribution is form – the shape of the text block and its direction.  With the advent of computer graphics software, creative sign designs have flourished, and hand-lettering skills have as well. Applications run from simple to ornate, from plain to fancy hand-carved, gold leaf. Although the traditional hand-crafted, hand-painted aspect is still used and revered, getting there has never been easier. The designs proliferate and the results are spectacular.Sweet Spot guitars by victorkevruh

That brings us to the question of, Which is the best and correct way of curving or angling artistic text? If we consider using angled text on a sign, we make sure that it always angles ‘uphill’ (with the right side higher than the left). It simply looks better, and ninety-nine percent of angled text finishes upwards, as shown in the SweetSpot Guitars graphic. Curved text should follow a logical, predictable pattern, and should curve no more than twice. One curve has sufficient impact, as shown in the Letterheads Signs and Show Cards graphic.

As sign designers, our challenge is to fit text into the available space and in the most beautiful and effective way possible. Even though most signs use horizontal text – since it’s the most readable and designed to be written in horizontal lines – the world is overloaded with horizontal lines of text. Every now and then, an angled or curved text element can catch people’s attention simply because it’s different.

Paxton Signs’ more than 38 year history includes hundreds of signs. Some are major monument signs, some small business signs. We’ve created ranch signs, lighted signs, signs made from recycled wood, hand-painted signs, carved signs, vehicle and fleet graphics – a continuous variety of communication art, serving Fort Collins, northern Colorado, and surrounding mountain communities.

View our Galleries by using the menu bar, above. Contact us at 970-221-5519

Paxton Signs – Crafted Signs – Plain or Fancy

• Sandblasted • Hand Carved • Hand Painted • Hand Lettered • Gold Leaf • Storefront • Dimensional • Residence • Vehicles • Murals • Logos • Identity

 

VERTICAL TEXT: Do’s and Don’ts

Image result for signs with vertical lettersFor starters, there are no hard and fast rules about text direction in the sign industry, at least as far as we’ve been able to find. However, there are opinions, some based on historical book and print examples, and others based on human nature, e.g., in what direction would most people tilt their heads to read vertical text. What’s more, what if someone prefers a narrow, vertical sign with stacked letters?

Since there is no definitive rule about text orientation on signage; and if it can go either up or down; and if stacking is a matter of preference, then anything goes, right?

Not exactly. We’ve noticed that most vertical signs and banners run the text from bottom to top (we’re excluding stacked letters for now). We think the reason for this is that most of the western world reads from left to right, so we naturally tilt our heads towards the first letter of the text that would appear on the left if it were rotated 90 degrees, and then we read upwards to a satisfying finish. (It really is more awkward to read text where the first letter starts at the top and reads down.)

Having said that, text on book spines runs downwards. Therefore, some sign makers will justify that running text downwards is preferred because, after all, it’s readable when a book is lined up on a bookshelf, as well as when splayed flat with the cover open. Others argue that when a book is splayed flat, the cover is plainly visible, so it doesn’t matter. Further, sometimes books are stacked horizontally. Obviously, top to bottom title placement is necessary in order to read them horizontally, from left to right.  The crucial consideration is that book spines are usually displayed within close eye proximity AT EYE LEVEL OR BELOW.

But signs aren’t books, and they don’t have covers or spines. So a good rule-of-thumb might be to favor the human nature option: If the text is to be read ABOVE eye level, then it should run from bottom to top.  If the text is to be read BELOW eye level, it should run from top to bottom, since trying to discern a crucial first letter below that’s covered by snow, benches, bikes or other obstructions, would be self-defeating.

Image result for old theater signsWhat about stacked letters? Stacked letters have a history all their own. Traditionally, this is a method found on many of America’s old theater and drugstore signs. The practice dates back to Art Deco innovations during the early 20th century. However, most graphic and sign designers will discourage the format because…well, this is what Ellen Lupton of, Thinking With Type, says:

“Roman letters are designed to sit side by side, not on top of one another. Stacks of lowercase letters are especially awkward because the ascenders and descenders make the vertical spacing appear uneven, and the varied width of the characters makes the stacks look precarious. (The letter I is a perennial problem.) Capital letters form more stable stacks than lowercase letters. Centering the column helps to even out the differences in width.”

Essentially, we agree with Lupton. The exception we make is if the sign’s cachet is intended to recapture the Art Deco era, or another historical timeline. As Lupton notes, if stacked letters are used, use only caps, never lower case. Another consideration: if the text is letter-abundant, the chances of passers-by reading it are almost nil, and we would strongly advise against it.

As with other sign makers, Paxton Signs’ challenge is to fit the necessary text and information into a sign’s available space, as well as in the most attractive and effective way possible. Obviously, most signs use horizontal text, since it’s the most readable. But, on occasion, and for graphic interest, vertical and stacked text can be an option, but only when it’s used for the right reasons.

Paxton Signs’ ANTIQUES sign, shown here, is an example of period art utilizing stacked text. The letter count is acceptable, and the art elements and styling contribute to the sign’s cachet.

Next time: Angled and curved text. Things just got more interesting!

_______________________________________________

Paxton Signs’ more than 38 year history includes hundreds of signs. Some are major monument signs, some small business signs. We’ve created ranch signs, lighted signs, signs made from recycled wood, hand-painted signs, carved signs, vehicle and fleet graphics – a continuous variety of communication art, serving Fort Collins, northern Colorado, and surrounding mountain communities.

View our Galleries by using the menu bar, above. Contact us at 970-221-5519

Paxton Signs – Crafted Signs – Plain or Fancy

• Sandblasted • Hand Carved • Hand Painted • Hand Lettered • Gold Leaf • Storefront • Dimensional • Residence • Vehicles • Murals • Logos • Identity

 

 

 

“Truth To Materials?” Or, Affordable Imitations?

A hundred years ago, members of the Arts and Crafts Movement professed a philosophy they called ‘truth to materials’, which meant using the most appropriate material for any application. That is, emphasizing the quality of the materials used rather than hiding them. Designer and theorist, Christopher Dresser, summarized:

“All graining of wood is false, inasmuch as it attempts to deceive; the effort being made at causing one material to look like another, which it is not. All “marbling”, too, is false: a floor-cloth made in imitation of carpet or matting is false; a Brussels carpet that imitates a Turkey carpet is false; so is a jug that imitates wicker-work, a printed fabric that imitates one which is woven, a gas-lamp that imitates an oil-lamp.”

It’s a shame when a beautiful oak floor is covered in synthetic tiles, or when plastic siding tries in vain to imitate wooden boards on a newly built house. The cheap deception is revealed in a few short decades as the elements wear it away.
In the sign industry, however, representational art techniques have become the stock and trade of this valued advertising genre.  The sign-making trade has a long history of making one material appear to be another. As soon as you roll a coat of primer onto a wooden panel, you have already begun to hide the innate qualities of the wood, even though the sign will last longer. Gilded elements give the false impression of being solid gold. Painted drop-shadows and highlights give an illusion of dimensionality. Distressing techniques, such as crackle-varnish and stain, are used to make a new sign look like a weathered artifact.
Dresser would probably take a dim view of such techniques, but just as the fine artist adds paint to a canvas until the canvas itself looks like a landscape or portrait, so the sign-maker applies his skills and tools to make a substrate look like something it isn’t. And customers are happy to take advantage of the affordable substitutes offered by a talented sign-maker.
Pictured is Paxton Signs’ faux-weathered wood sign for Cowboy Collectibles in Estes Park, Colorado. The sign measures 4’x6′, and is painted on a panel of 1/2″ thick medium density overlay signboard, cut to shape. The sign board was prepped by sealing the edges and primed with no fewer than two coats of premium grade primer. Finish coats are oil based enamel. All lettering, graphic effects and illustration are hand painted with oil based sign lettering paint.
Paxton Signs’ more than 38 year history includes hundreds of signs. Some are major monument signs, some small business signs. We’ve created ranch signs, lighted signs, signs made from recycled wood, hand-painted signs, carved signs, vehicle and fleet graphics – a continuous variety of communication art, serving Fort Collins, northern Colorado, and surrounding mountain communities.

View our Galleries by using the menu bar, above. Contact us at 970-221-5519

Paxton Signs – Crafted Signs – Plain or Fancy

• Sandblasted • Hand Carved • Hand Painted • Hand Lettered • Gold Leaf • Storefront • Dimensional • Residence • Vehicles • Murals • Logos • Identity

ORDER NOW FOR CHRISTMAS!

Paxton Signs’ residence and cabin signs are unique, useful and always memorable. Hand-painted or sandblasted, personalized art elements or a simple name and address, we’ll help you design it and choose colors and size.

Call today for a consult. We’ll have it ready in time for the holidays.

Paxton Signs’ more than 38 year history includes hundreds of signs. Some are major monument signs, some small business signs. We’ve created ranch signs, lighted signs, signs made from recycled wood, hand-painted signs, carved signs, vehicle and fleet graphics – a continuous variety of communication art, serving Fort Collins, northern Colorado, and surrounding mountain communities.

View our Residence Sign Gallery using the menu bar, above. Contact us at 970-221-5519

Paxton Signs – Crafted Signs – Plain or Fancy

• Sandblasted • Hand Carved • Hand Painted • Hand Lettered • Gold Leaf • Storefront • Dimensional • Residence • Vehicles • Murals • Logos • Identity

 

THROWBACK THURSDAY: River Stone Resort – 2009

River Stone Resort sits on a particularly beautiful section of Fall River. The river and road descend from Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, and are known as the “less traveled” north entrance to the Park. River Stone is located 2 miles from the  entrance, and 2 miles from Estes Park. During the summer season (late June to early September), free shuttle buses run to and from downtown.

River Stone is a year-round resort for both private and business groups.The resort offers fully-equipped condos, including kitchens, baths, gas grills and washers and dryers. In addition to first-rate daily amenities, each condo living room has an HDTV with HD cable box and a DVD player. The bedrooms have TVs with cable connections. Complimentary WiFi is provided throughout the property, and a Business Center is available during office hours, stocked with a computer, printer and FAX.

Rocky Mountain majesty is just a few minutes away from this extraordinary lodge that’s been awarded Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence. You can even recharge your TESLA! 

Visit River Stone Resort’s website at, https://www.riverstoneresorts.com

Paxton Signs designed River Stone’s sign to represent Colorado’s sunlight and perpetual river water that flows by its banks. The hand-carved gold leaf letters reflect the morning light in such a way that the letters glow, catching ever-changing glints of Rocky Mountain sunshine. Minimalist water and rock art depict the river bank without detracting from the sign’s centerpiece gold leaf lettering.The sign is single-faced and measures 4′ x 9′. The panel is fabricated in MDO plywood, using premium quality acrylic latex paints. “River Stone” is hand-cut, shaped, and carved to evoke a rustic look. The letters are finished with 23k gold leaf, and flush-mounted to the background.

Paxton Signs’ more than 38 year history includes hundreds of signs. Some are major monument signs, some small business signs. We’ve created ranch signs, lighted signs, signs made from recycled wood, hand-painted signs, carved signs, vehicle and fleet graphics – a continuous variety of communication art, serving Fort Collins, northern Colorado, and surrounding mountain communities.

View Paxton Signs’ galleries using the menu bar, above. Contact us at 970-221-5519

Paxton Signs – Crafted Signs – Plain or Fancy

• Sandblasted • Hand Carved • Hand Painted • Hand Lettered • Gold Leaf • Storefront • Dimensional • Residence • Vehicles • Murals • Logos • Identity

 

 

RESIDENCE AND CABIN SIGNS: Order Now For The Holidays!

The holiday season is the perfect time to give unique, personalized gifts that can be enjoyed all year long. How about a residence sign from Paxton Signs! There are numerous creative techniques available to create the styles, colors and textures you may have in mind. Interesting, hand-carved elements are popular, as are sandblasted details and hand-painted illustrations. Custom frames and trim can be added for an even more elaborate look.

Most residence signs measure 12” x 20” either vertically or horizontally, and sizes vary for most custom orders. Depending on the design detail involved, the average residence sign will cost approximately $350-$400.

When you consider that it will last decades, a quality Paxton Signs residence sign is a good investment, one you’ll be proud to give and admire every time you visit the happy recipients. Because each sign is unique, custom designed and built, ample time is needed to produce your sign by the holidays, so ORDER NOW!

Above: A hand-painted, recycled wood, residence sign featuring the interests of the recipients.

Right: A sandblasted sign with raised, hand-painted art elements and raised text.

For our complete residence signs portfolio, please use the menu bar, above, to view that gallery.

To order your RESIDENCE SIGN for the holidays, call Paxton Signs at, 970-221-5519, or use the “CONTACT” feature, above.

_________________________________________

Paxton Signs’ more than 38 year history includes hundreds of signs. Some are major monument signs, some small business signs. We’ve created ranch signs, lighted signs, signs made from recycled wood, hand-painted signs, carved signs, vehicle and fleet graphics – a continuous variety of communication art, serving Fort Collins, northern Colorado, and surrounding mountain communities.

View Paxton Signs’ galleries using the menu bar, above.

Contact us at 970-221-5519

Paxton Signs – Crafted Signs – Plain or Fancy

• Sandblasted • Hand Carved • Hand Painted • Hand Lettered • Gold Leaf • Storefront • Dimensional • Residence • Vehicles • Murals • Logos • Identity

FRIDAY’S FEATURE: CB&Potts – Best In Fort Collins


This historic restaurant started in 1971 and added its own brewery nearly two decades later. The restaurant was initially named after a turn-of-the-century British law firm called Chesterfield, Bottomsley & Potts. The name was eventually shortened in the late 1990s in a restaurant contest to,  C.B. & Potts. The first C.B.& Potts opened as a “RAM Deluxe Tavern” in Lakewood, Washington, where it is still headquartered. It operates over 30 restaurants in seven states, including the C.B.& Potts in Fort Collins – voted Best In Fort Collins during the early 1990s. In 1995, they began brewing beer, contributing to the successful evolution of the craft beer industry. Their efforts have garnered over 100 medals from institutions as prestigious as the NABA and GABF. Visit their website at: www.cbpotts.com

Paxton Signs was delighted to design and produce the C.B. & Potts, “Best In Fort Collins” sign. It hung above the establishment’s entryway for many years. The sign panel was sandblasted redwood with columbine blossoms carved into glass then hand painted. The lettering was gilded with 22k gold leaf with variegated gold leaf centers. The teal color was chosen to pick up the booth colors throughout the restaurant. The sign borders were then clear-coated with polyurethane.

Paxton Signs’ more than 38 year history includes hundreds of signs. Some are major monument signs, some small business signs. We’ve created ranch signs, lighted signs, signs made from recycled wood, hand-painted signs, carved signs, vehicle and fleet graphics – a continuous variety of communication art, serving Fort Collins, northern Colorado, and surrounding mountain communities.

View Paxton Signs’ galleries using the menu bar, above. Contact us at 970-221-5519

Paxton Signs – Crafted Signs – Plain or Fancy

• Sandblasted • Hand Carved • Hand Painted • Hand Lettered • Gold Leaf • Storefront • Dimensional • Residence • Vehicles • Murals • Logos • Identity

The Green New Deal in Sign Making

 
 
“Green” consciousness has been in full swing for years. And Paxton Signs continues to offer interesting choices in recycled and/or natural materials and processes. For example, instead of using plastic sign material, maybe choose glass. Instead of sign synthetics, wood is much more interesting. Why fill up landfills with vinyl products when simple, honest paint offers more interest and life expectancy to signs. In many cases, these three alternatives will be more cost effective, saving businesses advertising dollars.
 
“My Sister Knits” liked the idea of recycling the wood from another retired business sign, and, in so doing, gave new life to otherwise wasted material. This is notable because of the formidable increase in the global environmental consciousness. My Sister Knits wanted to be a part of the movement towards a sustainable future. Their signage reflects their commitment to this ideal.
 
The Green New Deal is not only closer than we think, but it’s a much wiser, economically sound, and environmentally responsible direction to take your business. Ask us about our Green New Deals for your next sign!
 
View Paxton Signs’ galleries by using the menu feature, above. Or, contact us at 970-221-5519
 
Paxton Signs – Crafted Signs – Plain or Fancy
 
Recycled • Sandblasted • Hand Carved • Hand Painted • Hand Lettered • Gold Leaf • Storefront • Dimensional • Residence • Vehicles • Murals • Logos • Identity
1 2 3 6