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First "professional" sign you made.

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by Mosh, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    The first sign made was in 1988. It was a 4x8 sign for the Corps of Engineers. White site sign with red panel on the side that I hand painted the corps logo onto. The rest of the sign was text that was was vinyl cut on a Gerber Sprint. I blew up the logo on an opaque projector, and painted it. My gosh it took me a 3 days, painting MDO waiting for it to dry, to make that thing, now it would be about 1-2 hours start to finish. Also it has a 2x4 boarder around it sanded and painted red.

    I remember my boss handing me all the vinyl and said there you go...no instruction on weeding, taping, applying... we used "empervo" brand paint for the panel and background, ronan for the logo, gerber 220 for the main copy. did I mention he drank alot, like from when he got up until he passed out at night...and no I wait until at least 4:20 to crack one open so don't go there....

    Three days, you have to know this was an after school job for a 15 year old kid too, so I only worked from 4-8 or so.
     
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  2. OldPaint

    OldPaint Major Contributor

    well..........i been painting signs since i was 12-13!!! no real record on that work. did signs off & on for many years prior to 1986. so i guess 1986 would be my date of making signs a profession rather then a sideline. not much record of that either. bout 87-89 i started takin pics of work. heres a couple of the early ALL PAINT days.
     

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  3. Garbus

    Garbus Member

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    THe cars are also hand painted??? wow...

    I wish we learned a bit more of the old tecnichs at the sign technician education i took. think we had about 2 weeks of writing our names and painting them on large drawing paper. fun to try, with the writing stick (dont know the english name. a stick with a soft end, to rest your arm on when you paint).

    beautifull work...
     
  4. skyhigh

    skyhigh Major Contributor

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    Was a 4x4 hand carved sign. Prior to that sign, I had only carved for pleasure. Then one day a friend of a friend asked me if I could carve a SIGN. And here I am today.

    If I had kept carving signs, today I would probably be as good as MrChips or Signmeup.
    (gotta love those cnc routers, although not as satisfying as doing it by hand)
     
  5. Si Allen

    Si Allen Very Active Member

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    It would be kind of hard to be as good as Joe Chips!


    :supersmilie:
     
  6. Custom_Grafx

    Custom_Grafx Very Active Member

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    My first "professional" sign hmmm... I remember I was around 12 or so... and loved looking through every single piece of everything in my dad's shop. he had a corner with an old pantograph, and hundreds of zinc and brass templates. I found one of a cool looking convertible car and was very keen to engrave it onto something. The closest thing I found was perspex so I did it on that, and paint filled it. It was tiny, so maybe not really a 'sign'. But I remember looking at it, and thinking... hmm.. that actually looks like a real product!

    I think I started playing with diamond drag pantograph from around the age of 10... and slowly got permission to use the heavy duty beast at around 12 or around there somewhere... but I wasn't allowed to use certain cutters or materials.

    by the age of around 14, I had a great party trick which would make teachers at school call other teachers over coz they thought I was a freak... so many hours on the pantograph, meant that i got accustomed to writing something the right way up with one hand, while simultaneously writing the same thing upside down with the other hand with a pen on a piece of paper. I could do it with the alphabet, and even simple drawings and the such. It was kinda scary!
     
  7. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    When I was in sign school in Boston I was did card & paper signs for a flower shop in Beacon Hill.
     
  8. SignManiac

    SignManiac Major Contributor

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    My first was a 4x8 and took eight hours. Today it takes me twenty minutes from design to finished.
     
  9. signmeup

    signmeup Major Contributor

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    Bite me.
     
  10. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

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    Hand lettered my own retail store, then a airbrush guy saw it ask me to help him do signs & be a T-Shirt Barker at Fairs for him ( I have a radio DJ voice ) ..of course he gave up doing signs and I went back selling the signs he gave up on, 1st was a used car lot traded a van, then next door neighbor fashion store, and several others that people had seen my work, after about a year I realized I was limited, so I went to St. Paul Voc. Tech. Sign School when I really realized that I wanted to be a Sign Advertising Painter.
     
  11. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    8 hours!? you were doing good.
    I remember working on paper patterns for 4x8s and I'd have different colored pencils so I could keep track of what was good and what wasn't. Start with a reg #2 and when I had so many redraws I couldn't tell what was what I'd switch to blue, then use a red one when I had it all worked out. Then I'd pounce it.
     
  12. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    A pair of 12 x 36 vacuum formed magnetic signs for Loving Chevrolet, Silver Spring, MD in 1971.
     
  13. Westcoast Sign Guy

    Westcoast Sign Guy Very Active Member

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    I consider my professional career started after I became self-employed and obtained my contractors license at 22. After getting my license we landed "The Old Spaghetti Factory" restaurant account.

    We did their first electric sign here in San Marcos CA, which propelled us from the garage, to a shop overnight. After the initial job we proceeded with Duarte CA, Rancho Cucamonga CA, Hollywood CA, Seattle WA locations.

    It was a nice account to give us that lil boost forward.
     

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  14. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    A drum head for some local combo group. Took about 2 hours. Got $20.

    Here are some more recent, all BC [before computer].
    Shocard w/flats....... 22" x 28" castilisn room.jpg
    Air Brush....... heavy metal.jpg
    Oil w/quills..... side of tanker.jpg
    Oil w/quills..... box truck front.jpg
     
  15. signage

    signage Major Contributor

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    Gino you must have photo shops this, when you were that young they didn't even know what oil was:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
     

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  16. TheSnowman

    TheSnowman Major Contributor

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    My first job was I believe an 8' X 8' sign, and the thing was two sided, with some steel in between, so it was basically four sheets of Alumalite butted up against each other. I think I probably spent two days on it from start to finish trying to figure out part of it that we had said we could print, and eventually got it, and I did the rest of them with our old Gerber GSX instead of the new stuff so I could just get it finished and out the door.
     
  17. Started hand lettering real estate signs when I was 13.
    At 18, worked for an air-craft re-finisher hand lettering Fed-Ex planes.

    Couldn't do it now though.
    The computer's got me out of practice.
     
  18. slappy

    slappy Very Active Member

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    awww,,, lot at the young Gino:loveya:

    pre:bushmill:years before all the stress

    JP. :smile:
     
  19. skyhigh

    skyhigh Major Contributor

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    How true.
    Kinda like you aspiring to be as good as OP with a brush? :wink:
     
  20. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Ha..... back then I never even heard of Bushmill. I didn't drink whiskey at all. I had a 1/4 barrel on tap in my living room that got changed weekly, plus what I drank when I went out at night......clubbing.

    Yep, times sure have changed............... GINO.gif
     
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