Saturday, August 20, 2016

commission for a reduced wooden tarpon sign as house number

Never planning that these tarpon signs would be sold outside of our trips down to Florida each summer, I was contacted for a sign from some interesting folks out of NJ. Not having the space for the full size 6 foot signs I have been producing, they were looking for the same aesthetic quality but much smaller. More like 23 inches across. I said I would be glad to make one but had to check on the silo boards remaining to see if the lengths were there. Well, they were. 

I gridded off some poster board for an exact size/proportion reduction and found that i couldn't get the tarpon cut from one board. In order to keep strength at a maximum, I centered it to allow for fins to stay away from knots as well as the joining of the two pieces.

I was pleased with the final shape.

The kids were drawing with chalk on the driveway so I spent a few minutes adding some large, strange creatures with blue collars and plants...not sure why. Looks like they road their bikes over it before I got this shot.

The wood has highly defined grain. The exterior is covered with deep ridges that catch the sun and its shadows. I dremeled out the numbers after adding the paint. I scuffed and scraped the paint with a multitude of items to beat it up a bit more before shipping it out.

The buyer wanted the numbers left in their natural state, so this is how it was sent out. I wish I had an unlimited supply of these boards. They are striking. I will miss them when the are gone (they're almost gone). Later!

Friday, August 19, 2016

local font find #29

While on a trip up to the local hardware store for some wood screws, I gave the old sign that is kept out front a slow drive by. It is strange that I have not photographed this prior. While inside, I questioned the history behind the sign. I was told by the fine folks at Morgan and Margraff that a local Elkland sign painter, Glenn Wilson, completed this sign many years ago (they believe it was done in the mid eighties). I was told that he painted many signs locally (I would love an opportunity to see them). The owner attempted to show me a sign of the former shoe store in town that Mr. Wilson had rendered but he was unable to locate it in the warehouse. I sure hope that sign is, was I excited at the prospect of unearthing another sign!

Though this sign has had daily battles with the elements, it still retains the style and skill that Mr. Wilson obviously possessed. Mother Nature, in my opinion, has this sign in amazing condition. If it were mine, it would find wall space.  

The arched letters of MORGAN are great with an exaggerated M and N. Love the rounded, flared-out R's. The A's seem to come from the early part of the 20th century and place us in the era of the nature-driven Art Nouveau days.

As we zoom in on this AND, we can see the shaky brush stokes. Most sign painters pride themselves on completing a letter with as few strokes as possible. I would have loved to have watch him apply the paint. Was his hand shaky? Has the weather worn parts of the letters and we are left with the uneven edges? What kind of speed were his strokes? No matter the answer to these questions, he was confident and talented. A good mix. (an update to the brush stroke issues...I found out that the sign was touched up, many years ago, at the hands of a non-sign painter...thus the shakey, multiple brush strokes)

I am on the lookout for any other signs by this man. If you know any, email me please! Would love to post some images (or maybe buy). Thanks all.

Friday, August 12, 2016

vintage pull down U.S. map (40" x 48")

Rarely do I find things that command my attention. And once I do, they seem to sit in my brain and pop into my thoughts with regularity...even when they are not in sight. One such item is this map we had framed for our bedroom. It is one map from a pull down set you may remember from school. It is a vintage one from the 1950's/60's. I have given some of the other parts away and can't locate the date or find a similar one on the net. I kept this map and the North American section. The rest of the world has changed names so much that I didn't want my children learning some wrong answers for future questions.

The colors are a thousand times better than any other map I have ever seen. You mix the colors with this amazing typography (pictured below) and you get visual perfection. This former teaching tool is what I consider to be way more powerful an example of good design than a majority of the countless pieces of artwork that I have come in contact with in the last few decades.

The shadowed mountains (below) are mighty cool as well.

The greens and blues work so well together. Each small section of this map is just spectacular.

Love the different fonts used as well as how they kerned (spaced) the letters to create weight differences to the viewer.

The number are cool as well!

My favorite section of the map is this mountainous part of Mexico as it meets with the large font. The orange of the map is striking (orange is my favorite color by the way). Everything great about this design comes together hear. 

We had it framed by a kind and interesting man, Marwin Cummings, from the Lawrenceville area. I helped him mount it and it turned out way better than I had hoped for. It will be the focal point of our bedroom walls. Thanks, Mr. Cummings! Fantastic!!!!!

Why any map maker would avoid using such rich colors is puzzling. Enjoy!

Friday, August 5, 2016

buffalo sabres sign out of reclaimed boards and barn boards

I have been blessed with fine friends and interesting acquaintances. They may not look on me with the same sentiment, but I still feel blessed just the same. I may have said this similar thing in a previous post...sorry. I do feel it is necessary to preface this post with these thoughts. 

One such bunch of fine folks bought a new home a few months ago. Their pride in the purchase was obvious. I felt compelled to build them (though the design was leaning heavy toward the husband's taste) something cool for a future basement upgrade to a living space.

I love great logos (nothing out of the ordinary for graphic design folks). But, this logo, that of the Buffalo Sabres, was one that I found difficult to create something unique for these fine folks. I previously made a raised wooden Buffalo Bills sign and thought that the style might work with the original Buffalo Sabres logo (from 1970).

The extra outlines of the current logo would not be possible with my skill level when working with wood. Luckily, the older logo is better anyway (my opinion).

The background circle is approximately 42 inches in diameter and I used reclaimed wood to build it. It came off the roof of a local Elkland home that was recently torn down. The wood is about 90 years old or so and looks awesome!

I used aged barn boards as the raised elements. I acquired many splinters and had multiple fails with the wood. There are so many cracks from the weathering that a piece can split off at any point while cutting out the shapes.

Though a pile of work, way more than I predicted at the onset, the work was thoroughly enjoyable. The wood allows imperfections to be perfect. It allows my weaknesses and inexperience with wood to feel acceptable and, I think, look pretty good. My weakness is a strength! Boy, wish this concept worked for me each and every day!

The finished sign, at 42 inches wide, is something I hope will appear striking to folks entering their basement and add to a great finished space. Good folks deserve good things. I tried to deliver.

This picture was taken with a wide angle lens and the viewer looses the outer ring (you can see the dark outer ring in the image above). The dark outer ring helps to set off the light raised ring and give a bit of completion/frame to the work.

Glad to have delivered it safely to its new home and on to new stuff....tarpon stuff!!!!!!