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The Walldogs 2nd Edition Book Available

Author Jay Allen, owner of ShawCraft Sign Co., has produced a beauty for the group’s 30th anniversary.




Cover of the second edition of The Walldogs by Jay Allen

Jay Allen, owner of ShawCraft Sign Co. (Machesney Park, IL) has recently released the second edition of The Walldogs: A Different Breed of Public Art Muralists. The oversize, self-published volume begins with “The Story of the Walldogs,” sign artists who come together from time to time to paint murals and wall art in cities and towns across the US and Canada. Allen lovingly and meticulously documents, in both words and images, all of the individuals who have been involved in the wide-ranging projects since the group’s founding in 1993.

Many participants trace their roots back to the renaissance in signpainting and formation of the Letterheads that began in the mid 1970’s. “The Letterheads were unified by an interest in preserving sign design principles and techniques that were no longer taught nor valued in modern sign shops,” Allen writes. In 1985 and again in 1993, “the ‘wall dog’ art form was taken onto the streets of Allerton, Iowa.” Allen recalls an extraordinary amount of detail that led up to the 1993 effort.

From there, cities such as Kenlake, KY (1995); Belvidere, IL (1997) and Vinton, IA (2000) enjoyed the visits and lasting boost to their communities brought by the Walldogs and their murals. Allen provides photos and details of every project up to and including High Springs, FL (2023), the group’s most recent project.

Words poorly describe this book. You simply must see it. If you’ve seen and love the Walldogs’ work or have an interest in classic wall murals, this amazing book is for you. With the holidays approaching, it also makes a terrific gift for any vintage sign lover.

For more information or to order a copy, visit


Mark Kissling is Signs of the Times’ Editor-in-Chief. Contact him at



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