Wayfinding Signs as Art

by Maggie Harlow on January 8, 2015

Turning wayfinding signs into art seems to be all the rage these days, with pieces of industrial flotsam being turned into signs, and even old signs being turned into art. The people who are interior design savvy are salvaging hefty, older pieces like signs and turning them into interesting art pieces for display. And we’re seeing the reverse too: architectural salvage and art being turned into wayfinding signs. We’ve even helped with a few of those particular projects.

Whiskey Row Lofts - Doors, before finishingThe photo sharing website, Pinterest, has demonstrated this desire for this reinvention of the old, and we’re seeing it here in Louisville, especially here in the Downtown area.

While it can be time-consuming to hunt down a sign no longer in service, and pricy to purchase one from an antiques dealership, an easier alternative is to have our team at Signarama make a sign to your specifications.

Years ago, Louisville buildings displayed hand-painted wayfinding signs. Over the years, these signs chipped and crumbled, yielding that worn look that is coming back in a stampede of nostalgia for “the good old days.” If your husband loves trains, why not have an antique-looking sign made that reminds him of the tracks he used to walk as a kid? If your business is on the site of a much older business, why not restore one of the old signs and hang it in the entry way?

Whiskey Row Lofts Wayfinding Sign 02 - DoorIn addition to re-creating old signs, we’re making new wayfinding signs out of old materials. Not only is this cost effective, but it’s also environmentally friendly. Recently, we took some interior doors from an old building, cleaned them up, inserted new glass, and repurposed them as wall-hanging wayfinding signs for those trying to find their way inside a new apartment building called Whiskey Row Lofts.

Here at Signarama Downtown, we’re seeing more clients who want unique signage, rather than the standard plastic or vinyl signs. They want a look that makes the sign theirs. There is an idea that a sign can be an expression — not just a directional sign, but also a piece of artwork that shows what the company is about. These wayfinding signs that have either been repurposed or created in the old style display an artesian way about them – almost like they were handcrafted. We’ve enjoyed the challenge, and look forward to doing more of the same.

For more information on the kinds of wayfinding signs we make at Signarama, please visit our website. You can also use our online store locator to find the Signarama nearest you.

This post was written by...

– who has written 25 posts on Signarama Blog.

is the owner of SIGNARAMA Downtown and Transworld/FranchiseMart in Louisville, Kentucky. She has expertise in lighted signage, large format digital printing, custom signage, vinyl graphics, banners, trade show displays and all other types of display and signage. You can follow her on Twitter at @SignaramaMama.

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