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The art of hand painting signs and wall murals by the Sign Palace

has been practiced for the past 40 years all around Chicago.  Although the art of a hand painting signs has been overshadowed by the world of graphics designers, computer software and digital printers.  A rare breed of skilled craftsman still remain to show the world the true beauty.  That can only be achieved by taking the time to meticulously dip a brush into paint and carefully transform a blank wall into a piece of art.

Over 45 years ago, the Sign Place opened our doors as hand painted paper sign and show card shop.  While we have modernized to keep up with the industry, we have also stayed true to our heritage by offering custom painted signs.   These have been for a variety of different applications, including hand painted wall graphics, sandblasted redwood signs and custom painted vehicle graphics. We are proud to be able to have two generations of sign painters working alongside one another, keeping the tradition of a hand painted sign alive.

Time Laspe Video

In the time lapse video, we are helping a local middle school strengthen their school pride by painting a wall mural.  This includes their slogan and logo on a corner of a wall at their main entrance. We started this project by sitting down with the client, to determine what message and wow factor they were looking for. Once we had an initial concept to work off of, our team of artists worked on creating, changing and finalizing the design.

When the final mural design was approved, our painters started the wall mural.  The first step is rubbing charcoal over a perforated paper pounce pattern to transfer the outline of the image onto the school walls.  It will leave a white charcoal outline for the artists to follow. With the pattern transferred onto the wall, the artists start to hand paint the logo onto the wall, following only the charcoal lines as their guides. As more colors are added to the logo it starts to take shape and you can start to see the resemblance of an Elk, the school’s mascot. Since the sign is being painted on a dark wall, everything is double coated to make sure none of the green comes through the bright vibrant colors.

Paint vs. Vinyl

While hand painting takes longer than most modern methods of sign fabrication, it is the best method to use for a wall graphic on a cinder block wall since digitally printed vinyl graphics applied to cinder block do not have as high of durability as a painted graphic on the porous surface. Over time, digitally printed wall graphics tend to lose their adhesive ability and peel away from the wall. In this case, the most important factor to the school was the long term durability of the mural on the cinder block wall in addition to the nostalgic look and feel that cannot be matched by any digital printer today. Check out our Project Gallery to see a collection of hand painted signs that the Sign Palace has created.