Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Signs of the Past

This blog is meant to do several things—highlight news about my art and the book, for one. But I also want to continue what I started with Fading Ads of Birmingham by featuring some of the ads that didn't make it into the book, archival photos of long-gone painted ads, and other interesting sign-related items. I'll figure out some sort of tag for each post so that you can find them all easily.


The first extra feature offers a rare peek into a sign shop from the heyday of painted wall ads. Larry Rocks, one of the sign painters featured in my book, has shared some photos and memories from Art Sign Company, the shop his father founded and which he still owns today, dating from the 1930s to the 1960s. From them, you can see how the painters worked on much more than walls—everything from neon to vehicles. An ad in the background of several images promotes Art Sign Company as the place to go for wall ads, show cards, gold leaf, real estate signs, banners, silkscreened signs, and office doors. My favorite photo of the collection shows two sign painters adding the name "Howard" to the side of a large truck trailer. The job is half done, with the red outlines of the cursive letters spiraling gracefully off into the shiny silver background.

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