Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Signs...Almost Instant Gratification

I love fonts and typography, so it's no surprise that I love to paint signs.

The simplest, easiest one ever is my "U-Pick" sign.

 I went with a rustic, primitive look (at least for me).

I had a pallet I scrounged off the curb on garbage day so I simply sawed four equal-length boards off. Equal is a term used loosely here.  Truthfully, I just eyeballed it, reasoning that U-Pick farmers have better things to worry about than quarter inch measurements. Like squash beetles. Or tomato worms.

I decided what fruits and vegetables I wanted to "advertise", and started auditioning fonts. Us font addicts know how important that is. You can have a font that seems perfect until you realize that your words look crappy in it.  Maybe the spacing is off or the curve of the S bugs you. So type out your chosen words and play with various fonts.  I knew I wanted a drop shadow on my sign, so I chose a simple font without a serif.

Good thing that Word has simple fonts because I usually download fancy ones like Jane Austen or Brock Script or Goofball.   One of which might feature in my fancy, picky, perfect cottage sign.
I had a bit of my fab unused apple-green paint that I'd mixed up from a previous project so I just slapped it onto the rough pallet wood, not worrying about complete coverage. Good thing too since I had just. barely. enough.

I printed out my words as Outline in Word including the Shadow option, cut them up, and traced them onto my painted boards. I know lots of DIYers use pencil or chalk to transfer, but I prefer my trusty carbon paper from era of typewriters.

I'm lazy,
I have it,
and it works for me.

I traced and painted just the actual letters onto the boards and then used the Shadow version as my painting guide.  Perfect was not my aim, this go 'round.  White and gray provided enough contrast--just like an actual U-Pick sign that needs to be readable while cruising down a country road.  I love the extra pop that the shadow gave this project.

I didn't distress it --the roughness of the pallet wood provided a rustic texture and I figured the elements would contribute over time especially since I didn't put any finish over the latex and craft paint.

What would I change?  I definitely should have scaled "U-Pick" to a font size that takes up most of the vertical space.  It's marginally larger than the other words, but not enough to tell.  And I'm still working on the links between the boards--I need a better way to attach the chain than staples or bent nails.

It reminds me of good times spent up a ladder stuffing my mouth with tree-ripened fruit in the good ol' days and it brought good luck to the garden last summer--we harvested bumper crops of golden razzies, Blue Lake bush beans, Sugar Snap peas, and Early Elbertas which may be the best peaches of all time.  In the depths of cold dark weather, it's good to remember a bit of summer!

Bring joy,

Party On...


  1. Oh I love it! I wish I could paint. LOL! What a sweet way to spend the winter making things for the garden.

  2. Love the sign and hope you are feeling better now. Thanks for dropping by.

  3. Fantastic sign!

    I have used chalk, pencil, graphite paper to make signs. They all work, so it's just what you have on hand or are comfortable using.