Antique Trade Signs & Folk Art

Probably one of the most common and certainly one of the oldest types of advertising out there are trade signs.

As commerce expanded, the usage of trade signs slowly developed into what we are familiar with today – modern day figuralsigns of all kinds. From early dark and middle ages, till now, trade signs slowly gained their popularity and increased the reputation of owners.

Trade sign & Folk Art: Vintage Signage Pieces That Marked The History By Darryl Tilden, Roadrelics

The design changed too, but what remained the same in every era is the predominance of unique symbols and logos typical for every era. These early Vintage Trade signs represented business’s like Dentists, Boot-makers, Pawn shops, Meat Shops, Millinery buildings, and Horse Traders. Also Glasses & Optician Stores, Doctor Offices, Glove Makers, Shoe Makers, Cafe, Hotels, Billiard Parlors, Pharmacies, Hardware Stores, Grocery Stores. Also Gun, Pistol, Rifles Ammunition, Veterinarians. Furthermore Barber Shops, Pretzel Stores, Candy Stores, Hats, Lunch, Restaurants, Flowers, Beauty Shops, Clothing Stores, Bicycle Shops, Pork, Clock & Watch Makers. Also Padlock, Blacksmith, Taverns, Furs, Drug Stores, Books, Cigars, and many more.

Some of the history of Museum’s can be seen here Poole History of Trade Signs      Roadside America is another good source. Also, Pinterest  has a great selection of old photographs of these types of signs  Brooklyn Museum

Well Designed And Eye-Catching Trade Signs Meant A Lot For The Business Owners

Usually a good Antique Trade Signs meant good advertising, and therefore more income and increased reputation for those who offered different kinds of services. The importance of these signs can be found in the importance of all we cant imagine our lives without. That is why throughout history we can come across many different trade signs; tailors, pharmacists, dentists, butchers, bakers, blacksmiths, brewers, shoemakers, perfume makers, gunsmiths, locksmiths, pottery makers, watchmakers, fishermen signs, to different kinds of specialized shops, like specialised coffee and tea making shops, DIY shops, carpenters, painters, builders, rug makers, jewelry makers and many more are used for Antique Trade Signs

Antique Trade Signs & Folk Art

Furthermore materials used for these Antique Trade Signs varied so we have many rustic wood signs, carefully hand-carved, usually with very detailed design. Also we also see wrought iron and guild signs, as well as gold leafing tradesigns, varying in size and shape. Also Guild signs especially played an important role in the history of tradesigns. we can find many iron guild signs in the shape of a boot, scissors, fish, sewing machine, coffee, plate, watch, pig, bottle and many others.

Iron played a great role in the history of Antique Trade Signs . Also the invention of the printing press changed the process of making tradesigns forever. As society developed wood, iron, expansion of colors usage in the process of making glass. Also printing, carving and hand carving combined with modern technologies, adding plastic and neon lights to the fine design of these Antique Trade Signs .

Modern Trade Signs & Folk Art Include Variations In Style

Nowadays, we have not only the mixture of the materials mentioned, but moderntradesigns include variations in style, dating from different eras, so some signs are purposefully vintage, while some are distinctively modern and minimalistic. The Antique Trade Signs reached their peak in the second half of 20th century, with advanced graphic design and improved printing. With the invention of neon lights and PVC, tradesigns became what we know them to be today.

Nowadays we can still see Antique Trade Signs out on the streets.  These signs in their more traditional form are rare to find. Therefore they are an important part of every vintage signs collection.

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