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Life’s a Beach

Signs from Sanibel and Captiva Islands showcase creative and technical diversity.




At some commercial signshops, craftmanship is king. At others, design and creativity rule the roost. Every shop has its own unique vision and skill set that ultimately defines its signature look and style.

What would happen if you gave the same general parameters to 50 different signshops? You¹d end up with 50 different signs, each a reflection of that particular shop¹s unique abilities. Of course, that would be prohibitively expensive and time-consuming, but the question can be answered.

The 10-mile stretch of road connecting Sanibel and Captiva Islands in Southwest Florida is a rich environment for this type of design exercise, where hundreds of such signs often sit just yards apart. The more than 40 signs shown in this gallery represent a fraction of the residential signs in this area. These images illustrate various techniques, styles, motifs and messages, all contained within the very limited framework of the “beach sign.”

As you can see, some signs are beautifully rendered, and some are painstakingly carved. Ocean-themed flora and fauna, mythical creatures, shells and sunsets all populate signs of every possible size and shape. Polished or rustic, colorful or muted, some of these signs rely heavily on landscaping and some stand alone.

The most expensive homes don’t necessarily have the nicest signs, and the more modest homes’ signs often stand out from the rest. All of them display a commitment to quality and an attention to detail that transcend budget or purpose.

These signs’ diversity, uniqueness and creativity display commercial signshops’ appeal. Every sign should add beauty and function to its surroundings, and the images here are great examples of achieving that goal.




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