What makes a great custom sign? For me it’s the ability to express my creativity and uniqueness on a large scale. Whether I’m designing a sign to display my business or I’m creating a one of a kind carving to adorn my beach house front yard, the process is always the same, and that’s to sketch out my idea on graph paper and bring it to life on an aluminum or steel surface.
How do I create custom signs? As I mentioned above, I love to sketch out my ideas on graph paper before I bring them to life on any surface. This allows me to lighten and soften the harsh edges of my designs. Also, I like to use lighter colored pencils for more intricate artwork because I find it easier to erase mistakes when I use the medium’s darker colors. Once I’ve drawn out my ideas on paper, I lighten the wood and apply my special UV coating so that my designs will last forever.
So how do you create custom signs with aluminum or steel? You do it the same way I do. First, draw your design on heavy cardstock, or a heavy-duty computer graphics program like Illustrator. With this tool, you can produce sharp and detailed prints that are perfect for indoor or outdoor uses.
After you’re finished with your drawing, you’ll want to lighten the sketch with a layer of acrylic paint. This lightens the sketch so it matches the background color of the surface you’re working on. Now, I prefer to use light aluminum or steel for my signs because the light glows through the metal, and catches everything in its path. However, if light up your sign using traditional methods, make sure you have a clear window or door so that everything will be visible. (You can always add a lighted item like a street lamp or a tree branch.)
Aluminum signs don’t require the UV coating I mentioned above. You can paint them yourself using regular house paint, or have a sign company to do it for you. This is the easiest way to create custom signs, and it also creates the most detail. Because aluminum has a smooth finish, it allows the artist to create a truly unique design. Plus, it costs less than other materials.
Another custom sign option for indoor signs is carved wood. Crib boards can be used as indoor wall decorations, and they are quite inexpensive. Because they are often carved to look like authentic barn wood, they have a unique look that cannot be duplicated using aluminum or steel. Plus, carving your own sign adds personal flair, and it’s a fun project for anyone who enjoys creating things from the heart.
Finally, a lighted sign with a glass panel in front is another great idea. A lighted sign with an artistic design etched in the glass can be very impressive, especially if you use the proper glass material. This option can give an outdoorsy feeling to the front of your home, or indoors can be used to showcase your favorite artwork or family pet.
There are many other ideas out there, but these will get you started on thinking about what you would like to see on your own custom signs. Just remember that this can be a great way to start off your business. You might even want to expand into other areas of custom signs, such as window clings, flyers, or yard signs. The possibilities are endless! But remember: creativity is key. The more original and creative you are, the more customers you will get, and the more money you will make!