Vintage signs are making a big time come back. They’re an offshoot of ghost signs, which are old hand-painted advertising signage that’s been preserved on historic buildings. The signage is usually kept for its nostalgic appeal. It’s now a phenomenon driven by designers looking to capture the retro look of advertising popularized by brands of bygone decades.
We were approached by Hanson Dodge, a creative design group located in Milwaukee that specializes in outdoor lifestyles advertising. Their client envisioned an old school approach to dressing up a large, mostly unadorned wall on the side of a four story office building in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward. The area has a lot of shops, offices and foot traffic.
The design was from Hanson Dodge and they are getting a lot of positive feedback on it. The Sign Effectz Account Manager handled the permitting.
We elected to use a type of Sherwin Williams’s paint that was made to work well on brick. Sherwin Williams provides excellent product and they back it up with expert advice. Our crew can call them for insights on the best paint for the application.
Paper patterns of the design were made in-house at Sign Effectz, ran off our computer system and plotter. We used six 4’ x 40’ patterns. Then the patterns were transferred onto the wall and the mural was hand painted by two crew members with brushes and rollers. Our crew trimmed the bristles on the brush to make it stiffer to fill in the holes on the course bricks. In all, the mural measures roughly 23’ tall by 40’ long.
Sign Effectz, Inc. operations manager, Rick Rossetti commented “Not every sign company can paint on brick walls. There aren’t a lot of artists left out there doing this kind of advertising. Many of the sign shops in town know vinyl graphics backwards and forwards, but painting on a wall is a lost art that is starting to come back.”