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Need Help Looking for vintage video footage of old school signmakers

Doc Zoom

Doc Zoom
I'm going to be working on a video project with ISA on "Old School" sign makers. I'm trying to find some old footage of how it used to be done! Anyone have any ideas or know where to look?
I'm totally fascinated by the talent it took in the day to do what they did! Us newbies are spoiled and I'm sure have no idea what was involved to do the cool stuff they used to do!


New Member
never really thought about videos way back when. cameras and equip. would be very bulky. 40 years ago we had 4 sign painters in our shop. layouts were done on paper, pounced then lettered. by todays timeline everything took days to complete


Premium Subscriber
Most likely, things will be snap shots, not videos. You might find some 8mm reels. Other than the basic idea of signmaking, it has changed drastically. You'll be pleasantly surprised at what changes have taken place. Heck, when the electric pounce came out, I thought it was stupendous. Do you realize, the first air brushes did not work on compressed air, but a bulb with a syringe and you put the paint down by brush and squeezed the ball and hand blew your paint to blend ?? You could also do it with dry pigment onto a gelatinous solution. It was truly an art form, just like welding, neon and so many other things. Hand painting was just a small part of it way back then.

This thread will be a "keeper".


New Member
Look up this guy Bill Ridel he was another of the real deal sign artists of today. He passed away last year sometime R.I.P. Bill!



New Member
I have lots of pics of work and progress but the only video i have is of a large mural I airbrushed in college that I remember. There may be some more, i'd have to watch them. I do have some projects coming up where i may be able to take videos of some things. I still do production old school (except using a plotter pen for laying out patterns) and I have 2 different hand painting projects on my plate right now.
I get calls to restore antique signs (handpainted, and sandblasted) as well as build new signs for the same area to look period (1920's thru 70's)