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True Tales

Curse You, Previous Signmaker

Our job wouldn’t have been so difficult if you hadn’t cut corners 12 years ago.




A local and very large real estate broker contracted us to replace the panels on their directory sign, which had been in place for a dozen or more years. The sign was ornate with a gilded medallion on the top and the client logo covered with black smalts. The panels were routed-edge ¾-in. burgundy-painted PVC with goldleaf. We created new panels, painted and gilded them.

Installation day came and when we removed the old directory panels, the previous signmaker must have run out of smalts, so he’d put a bead of caulk behind the sign blank and left an exposed piece of ACM with graffiti on it. Since the client wanted this particular area to be a narrower and smaller sign showing tenants at the rear of the building, the project needed to be reconfigured and a couple of new panels made. In the meantime, we attempted to order more 1Shot burgundy paint but it was no longer in production.

So, off to the drawing board … which led us to matching paint and redoing the entire sign with a slightly varied paint, new goldleaf, etc. All of this because the previous signmaker who touted himself as an exclusive artist and more, skimped on some black smalts and when I surveyed the job, I did not think to remove or look behind the existing panels.

Source: Ian McLellan, Hill House Graphics, Bristol, RI



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