What do you guys think?


New Member
HI- I just wanted to get your opinions on my first "real" sign which I just finished and installed last weekend. Is there anything I could have done better, or anything I did horendously wrong? Let me know what you think. Here is a before and after pic-




Premium Subscriber
The first one was definitely masked and hand cut with sprayed paints.

The second one, which I presume is the one for critique, looks great for your first sign. :thumb:

On electric signs we’ve found that making the lettering stoke a little heavier improves the legibility overall. Certain fonts are more prone to be found on electric signs than others. You’ll need to find what works for you.

The other thing is, you really don’t need punctuation on a sign. The sign is not having a conversation with someone responding, so you just put the key words up for the information that they are to display.

The bottom line would work better as:





New Member
i just dont understand LOWER CASE main copy!!!!! you newbies need to stop thinking like youre writing a letter....YOU AINT. all you learned about that IS NOT USEFUL IN SIGNS...including punctuation.
what is the purpose of a sign? VISABILITY.....you want the NAME OF THE PLACE TO STAND OUT FROM ALL OTHER COPY.
also the AMPERSAND is way to large and not a good one for signage. just because it comes up in the font you are using dont mean its the one to use. i have 3-4 of them i use that look like what they sould be....repalce that element and it also dont need to be as big as the line of text it is in.
also a bolder font for main copy.... somethin in a WESTERN font would a been nicer....heres 10 min layout....see i even put in a coma...which sholdnt be there....
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Just Me
Good for your first sign. I would follow Gino's advice in the future as far as the punctuation goes. Also watch your word spacing - too much after the commas.
I agree to a point with OP on the capitalization. The bar name should have been in all caps, but I probably would have left the bottom tagline as upper and lower. Last thing, as Shovelhead pointed out, white space on the edges of the sign is (IMHO) a good thing. I would have left more white space all the way around it.


New Member
right...and you been at this how long?????????? and you went to how many art classes? and you can paint and draw? take the sign he did....copy it o a piece of8.5x11 paper.
do the same with mine. hang both up on the far wall from where you sit....and tell which one YOU WILL BE ABLE TO READ...at a glance......it aint pretty it aint fancy but it does the job it suppose to do....VISABILITY.. also mine was 10 min in corel....and JUST A SUGESTION.... as another way it could have been done.....


Active Member
Not bad for your first, better than many I did.
There are some conflicting angles of text and I disagree about all caps, every sign legibility study done concludes that upper/lower case is best. But they don't always look good on an arch.
All caps look like a solid block from a distance.
An illustration would be a easy addition.
Mixing type faces is good, more interseting than all the same, but limit it to 2 or 3. Here's my 10 minute take on it.
You did use translucent vinyl for the red, right?


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Mark Fair

New Member
Great first sign.
You need to get a copy of Mike Steven's "Mastering Layout"
25 Years agao I read this and it opened my eyes to what is good layout.

Remember the negative space is just as important as the positive space.(lettering and such)

Great First Sign Old Paint!


New Member
I was going to compliment you on how great the first sign looked.
Wonderful old-style look and great use of panelization.
Then I realized you were referring to the second sign!
Listen to Bubba Fair and get the Mike Stevens book.
While it is better-looking than my first sign, it needs some negative space, and it looks mostly like typed out words.


New Member
I Think it's fantastic for your first sign of that type,
and just remember to take the critique as if these cranky B%*tards
were your school teachers, because in a way they are !

And - Mark Fair, Thanks for the TIP about the layout book,
I too feel the need to have this book for reference reading !

UPDATE: Just Bought the book on amazon !


Certified Enneadecagon Designer
I have to say I like the first one too, it has that handpainted charm too it. That being said, it is better Than my first sign too. You might also look into a subscription to Signcraft Magazine as well.

Except for the all caps comment, I agree with most of the suggestions on the punctuation, spead the tagine out and reduce it a hair....The "The" is at an odd place too but overall, very good for the first try.


New Member
I, too, thought that if this is your first (the 'before" one) then you've got it going on! The arch seems out of place as it doesn't really have a purpose, and it then creates a dead spot just below it. I also am not fond of the placement for the "THE", would like to have seen it more centralized...above the "n" would be nice. As has been said, not enough "breathing room" around the periphery. I really like the one submitted by 'billct2'


New Member
The first sign used the space really well. I think the biggest improvements you could make to yours would be using a bolder text, taking out the arch, and fixing the placement of "The". Overall its a very good sign for your first. Take the criticism with a grain of salt. Its all constructive and will help you in the long run. Keep up the good work!
Congrats on your first sign!

one of the most difficult things for new signmakers imo is to make the simple signs look good. keep it simple, keep learning, read everything you can get your hands on (starting with Mike Stevens book) and if you havent subscribed to Signcraft I would highly recommend it, it is a great source of inspiration and will give you so many ideas and examples of other people's work.


New Member
Not to bad for a first sign could have been worse. At least the spellings right.

Just keep trying everyone has to start somewhere. with time your signs will get better and better.....

defiantly pick up a book on layout though

Thats the only Windmill pic I had


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New Member
HI everyone- and I Thank You for all your comments, I needed to get an opnion from someone who wasn't a friend. I will take your hints and suggestions into consideration and I do subscribe to Signcraft and I will be purchasing Mike Stevens book. Thank you again everyone- here are a couple of pics of the sign completed and installed-



New Member
seein where it placed on location...it shoulda definatly been done in all upper case main copy.....the fod, drink, times also shoulda been all caps....but still goood for a 1st .. i wont show you mine.......i burnt the building down it was on..it was that bad..................)))))))))))


Two things on an arc and italized letters and a word at an angle is way too much. You don't have to put a special effect on every line of copy. As far as the upper/lower case it could have worked with a heavier font. The word Windmill is pretty long and the upper/lower case makes it easier to read (sorry OP). It's your first sign and not too bad for a start. Get Mike Steven's book as suggested as it will be a good source to turn to and it's information is timeless so it will be a good source for years to come.