Hand-painted Signs: Beautiful, Authentic and Back!

As an art form all but lost, hand-painted (aka hand-lettered) signage is experiencing a resurgence. Business owners are placing value in the human touch, the stroke of a brush, and the beauty in artistic technique. It’s been a long time coming. At Paxton Signs, we welcome the comeback with open arms and ready hands.

The first sign that hand-painting was in decline, after centuries of dominance, came in the 1980s when vinyl cutting first made an appearance and craft began to make way for computers. The 90s proved even more disastrous, as inkjet printers and digital design put everything from window stickers to building and vehicle wraps mere keystrokes away.

A beautifully hand-painted Paxton Sign, painted in the 1980s, now a collectible.

Lately, however, retailers are increasingly turning to sign painters like Paxton Signs to convey a sense of individuality for their businesses; to stand out and communicate that their products aren’t run of the mill. The revival suggests a renewed interest in crafted and handmade work — a big comeback for hand-lettering in general, and the amazing history that surrounds the trade. Shopkeepers and business are also more aware of having something hand-painted for which they can point to a person – an artist – rather than a vinyl cutting machine.

Hand-painted sign on high-density MDO. Hand-lettered and custom cut. Faux letters were created by daubing with a paint-saturated plastic bag. Design by Paxton Signs.

Trending now is an interest in how things are made and by whom. This is apparent in the food we eat, the home furnishings we like, and the clothes we buy. The result is that the business world is starting to understand and appreciate the art and craft of hand-painted signs. Signs that represent something loved and crafted – our future icons – and historically, art.

Paxton Signs specializes in hand-painted signs. The tools of the trade are so simple, but the possibilities are almost limitless. We would like to show you how hand-painting can enhance your image AND your bottom line.

Call Paxton Signs today at, 970-221-5519, or email us by using our website feature, above.


When Should You Update Your Business Signage?

Business signs are essential to your company’s marketing efforts. A good sign tells your customers what you do and what sets your business apart from the competition. It’s the first impression they have of you and your professionalism. It follows, then, that outdated, shabby signs aren’t going to help you form new customer relationships. The question is, How can you tell when it’s time to give your business signs a face-lift?

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 business sign’s life span will be shortened by weather extremes.

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

When paint peels, colors fade, elements fall off, and weather takes its toll . . . time for a new look. . .time for a new sign!

Are You Changing Branding on Other Platforms?

If you’re toying with the idea of revamping your logo or changing your motto, 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 branding on 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 and get started transforming your old signage with a new, eye-catching design.

Paxton Signs: 970-221-5519, or, email via our website, paxtonsigns.com.

Good Sign Design Starts Here

We’ve all seen poorly designed signs, banners and vehicle wraps. These incompetent products serve as a reminder that simply having a vinyl cutter doesn’t qualify one as a professional sign maker. Paxton Signs’ 40 years of sign design experience guarantees beautifully designed signs, banners and vehicle graphics

Paxton Signs strives to help our customers put their best foot forward. We believe that your success is our success, and we’re here to help design beautiful, effective, professional signs for any purpose.

A Few Pointers To Remember:

Contrast and spacing are two of the most basic and most important elements of effective sign design. Without proper spacing and contrast, signs are often too difficult to read and don’t stand out. Because signs and banners are often seen by people driving by, it’s important that they be easy to interpret at a glance. This usually means keeping all sign elements simple. Contrast helps the elements of your sign stand out, as shown below:

  • Contrast is what sets the main elements of signs apart from other information, as well as the background. It’s how we draw attention and ensure that essential information is communicated. There are a few ways to effectively use contrast. Two of the easiest are colors and fonts.
    • Colors – High-contrast colors grab attention. Black text on a white background offers maximum contrast, but many people find it a bit boring. White on black works well to change things up a bit.
    • Fonts – When designing your sign, we use different fonts that look good together. For example, we would use one font for your main message and another for your secondary message. We can achieve contrast by using different font styles and color.
    • A good design – makes use of both positive and negative space. Positive space includes letters and images, and negative space includes everything around and in between. Ideally,  negative and positive space should be well balanced. One of the most common mistakes is trying to cram so much information into the design that there isn’t enough negative space for organization. (See sign, below)
    • Kerning – Kerning, or the negative space between letters and numbers, is an important graphic design element. All letters are not the same size, and effective kerning keeps smaller characters close together to make words more cohesive.
    • A well-designed sign – should have a good balance of white space in relation to the other elements. Overly cluttered signs are difficult to read. Presenting too much information could cause viewers to miss the message entirely. The use of sufficient white space to group related elements close together helps viewers find what they’re looking for.
    • Proper spacing – is important. Below is an example of unreadable fonts,  poor spacing, and poor use of white/black “open” space:
  •  The St. Peter’s Fly Shop sign, below, is an example of a well-designed Paxton Sign that achieves all aspects of good design: Contrast, color, fonts, kerning, white/black space, then finished off with an overall pleasing shape, interesting art elements, and decorative posts:PAXTON SIGNS can create professional-quality signs, banners, vehicle graphics and more. Let us help you create better, more effective professional signs that mean business. And compliments!



Simple is Better. Always

Vehicle lettering is an effective marketing tool. Except when it isn’t.

It’s normal for business owners to expect the absolute most out of their vehicle lettering; the more information, the better, right? Fill every square inch with as much as possible; More bang for the buck, as they say. If only that were true. Although digital wraps have the potential for great marketing appeal, many digital wrap designers end up doing just the opposite by cluttering the vehicle surface with unnecessary elements and, literally, by trying to make a complex sales pitch while speeding down the highway.

There is a better way. A simpler, more attractive way. The Paxton Signs way.

Take a look at two examples of poor lettering design, below, and then one of good vehicle lettering design by Paxton Signs. Notice how the two poorly designed vans appear cluttered, confusing and ineffective. The Paxton Signs design announces Who and What is rolling by, using strong, clean, readable graphic elements. POW!

Above and Below: Notice the confusing layout and busy graphics.

Above: Who and What at a glance: Simple, effective Paxton Signs graphics are always better.

The really great news is that, not only does the Paxton Signs vehicle get noticed because it’s designed more effectively and efficiently, but the VALUE of the better design is greater than those expensive wraps!

Call Paxton Signs for a BETTER VALUE BID on your next vehicle or fleet. We believe simple is better. Always.

Why Hand-Crafted Signs are Better

People like to see the “hand” of the artist in the work.  Signs that are created with computer-generated graphics lack this.  Paxton Signs in Fort Collins, CO specializes in custom, hand-crafted signs that are crafted with care, detail and from an artist with 35+ years experience.  Hand-crafted signs communicate more than just your business name, it projects pride and individuality in your business.

Take a look at some examples of our hand-crafted signs.