Vintage Signs As Unique Home Decor – Vintage signs are really unique. Those vintage signs from 1890 to 1950 have a certain original look that has never been duplicated. They include the Route 66 road sign, Campbell’s soup label, Coca Cola or hotel signs for Shower Shave and a Bed for 5 cents. They are really unique and can almost be a conversation piece!
Vintage signs weren’t vintage when they first came out. In those days, they were modern. Cowboys passing through town would appreciate knowing that a beer was 2 cents.
Many modern-day products have great collectible old signs that fetch outrageous prices at an auction. Once commonplace, these vintage signs are great memorabilia to be framed or otherwise displayed in the home or living area. They cover a variety of products and services – from food and drink to lodging, motor oil, tobacco, automobiles and beer.
Because they have a slightly rough, handmade look about them, no two are exactly the same. They may be hand painted or stenciled, but they were not made by any machine. They were labors of love, intended to reel in the customers in a low-key but effective way. This was long before the neon signs of today. A vanilla shake or banana split display would be posted behind the counter of many 5 and 10 cent department stores. Just imagining that things were once so inexpensive is another part of old signs’ appeal. Most everything has risen in price many times – so it’s nice to recall the good old days! In reality, these costs were accurate for the times – people’s paychecks were also much less than now! But it is nevertheless fun to fantasize!
Another place to find old vintage signs is on fruit packing crates. Apples, oranges and other fruit delights were often sent in delightfully decorated hand painted wooden packing crates. These designs were so attractive that they have become an art form. The orange blossoms sitting beside the ripe and delicious looking orange, the baby birds sitting beside the apple on the fruit crate were lovely images that are hard to find nowadays.
Other old paintings showing these old signs of the past are near the railroad. There, sides of buildings were painted in a fresco design with the same type of motif. Some of the newer-fangled mock-vintage signs incorporated electric wiring to modernize the look, which could look tasteful, but mostly was more of a disaster like a culture clash. The wavy electrical tubing often detracted from the sign and made it harder to make out what the advertiser was attempting to say.
These old signs were known for their simplicity which successfully did a great job of show and tell. One old sign for pancakes shows a stack of them on a plate, maple syrup on the side, and easy to read cursive script describing the product being advertised.
Other vintage signs might resemble a wagon wheel and include gold leaf lettering or a figure of some sort. These were the fancier types, after all, most signs were hand painted and lettered. Some were in a box style or a circular style. The old gas station logos from the early 1950s are excellent examples of vintage signs which are both colorful and simple to read and understand.
Vintage metal signs have been copied for the last three decades in an attempt to return to the look of rustic originality and down home quality. Many a natural foods type of restaurant prefers to use vintage signs to imply that nothing artificial has been added – it’s the real McCoy, plain Jane and original. This is a great message to share, since the majority of modern consumers are interested in eating food that hasn’t been biologically tampered with and is in harmony with the environment.
Vintage signs are not difficult to make. With a wood grained or stamped metal appearance and a simple message, you can create your own old-fashioned signs which influence buyers to feel that they have returned to an earlier, simpler time when our grandparents were still eating fresh apples right off the tree.