Sign & Digital Graphics

November '12

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Looking for Trouble BY S TE V EN VIGEANT Something Old and Something New Sometimes customers need a push to upgrade their branding Steven Vigeant owns Berkeley Signs, a commer- cial sign company serving the San Francisco Bay Area since 1985. Visit his website at or con- tact him at The before photo with a gigantic, hand-painted "Body Shop" that is quite overbearing when compared to "Stewart's." Since the whole building was going to be painted, I directed their painter in painting the long, black stripe. It wasn't until after I'd dealt with dozens of worn out paint jobs, over the course of several years, all across the urban land- scape, that I set foot in a sign shop. I had my niche, which was, more often than not, centered on the very limited palate of auto industry signage. Back then, every big city had at least a couple dozen body and repair shops with chipping walls and window signs that needed an overhaul. I rarely tried to upgrade the content of the work. Most of the shops I worked for were neighbor- hood places that never heard of "brand- ing" and had nothing left to prove. They could afford to wait for a cheap repaint or a trade deal. There was one guy, some- where in the midwest, who stood under W ay back, more than 25 years ago, I repainted faded signs for a living. I chose to emphasize Stewart's over "Body Shop" for the front, but on the corner I felt that a bold clean "Body Shop" would be much better than a small vertical treatment. 28 • November 2012 • SIGN & DIGITAL GRAPHICS The client really liked this color combination. I eventually used most of the elements of the card, but I did design a custom Copperplate comma, which I liked better. MASTER'S TOUCH

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