Metal Signs Another Classic Form of Business Advertising



Custom Vintage Signs

Custom made metal for business are antique signs that are highly requested by collectors for their splendor and eternal historical significance and because they are great communication pieces. The increase in consumer and advertising of business brands was seen for the first time in the US in 1900.
Used to advertise everything from drinks to equipment to household appliances to key genres and more. In the late 1800’s porcelain enamel signs were introduced in Europe and became very popular in the US by the 1890’s. Porcelain signs were made of powdered glass in combination with rolled iron. A variety of colors were used to stencil on and fired which created a different layer for every color. Porcelain signs were resilient and able to withstand exposure to the environments. But during World War II high labor costs caused Porcelain signs to come to pass of favor in the 1950’s.

Caddie signs were also another type of metal signs for business but were melted scrap drives and were popular in the 1920’s. These custom-made metal signs were screen-printed, stamped, and painted but were not as resilient as porcelain signs and were also prone to rust.

The very first neon custom metal sign was introduced in 1912. These neon signs include tubes that are filled with neon that glows when a high voltage is put on. Even though they were trendy during the 1920’s and 1930’s, they were too costly and fragile. The 1940’s and 1950’s custom made metal signs were crafted in small quantities for businesses like bars, hotels, dealerships, clubs.

There are some collectors who also look for vintage cardboards signs which were popular in the 20th century and were used as a marketing tool to advertise a vast number of consumers items like beer, candy, soda, etc. Though collectors focus on signs, many practices it as a hobby as an addition to another collecting thing.  As a result, vintage metal signs for business are high in demand for oil and gas, food, railroad signs, farm, and travel.

In the world of vintage signage, many pointers can help you to date a truly excellent piece such as our visibility guide.  Before the industrial revolution, most of the signs were hand-painted. Individuals who built and designed these signs, designed every piece in hopes of imitating a business equality. But there are a few hints that can help you identify the accuracy of a real classic sign.

“Swing letters” on metal signs for business is a good indicator of real classic signage since each letter needs to be drawn by hand. Brush strokes indicate classic hand-painted signs along with bumps in the paint, variance in thickness, and a lightness in streaking are hints that make out a true classic.

Today, metal signs for business include a baked enamel finish whereas period signs were made from pure steel and prone to rust. Outside materials, regular sizes are another key component in deciding the age of a sign. Check out top signs from


One comment on “Metal Signs Another Classic Form of Business Advertising”

  1. Ethan Hansen says:

    It’s good to know that modern signs are resistant to a lot. My son wants to get a custom sign for a business he is starting. I will pass this on to him so he can research commercial signs.

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