How to Design a Sign

I am fascinated by the artistic process. Living with such a person gives me an opportunity to observe this up close and it is always so interesting to see how many, seemingly disparate, aspects come together in a completed project.  For example, we just installed a sign for the entrance to our studio which on the surface is a fairly mundane thing to do.

. Sign - 1

As you can see this sign is anything but mundane.  The idea first came up in a business meeting talking about ways to increase the visibility of our business.  We had decided to open to the public on Saturdays and wanted ways to become more noticeable to drive by traffic and we also wanted a clearly defined business entrance.

Initially we thought of a hand lettered sign on the side of our house, (which is also our studio), with perhaps some unique lighting to make it interesting.  So that was one idea.  At the same time Dita, (the artist in question), was designing a prototype of an owl house which in itself had come from the birdhouse design she had previously done.  Somehow the connection to houses for non human creatures and art turned into a design for an insect house.  An insect house is created in order to attract certain specific insects such as ladybugs which are beneficial to the garden. Of course an insect house designed by Dita is aesthetically appealing as well as functional.

Insect house

So how did an insect house become a sign?  Well we had a customer who had requested a sign for a rural property.  Dita had this beautiful cedar post and from somewhere came the idea of putting the lettering on the post but building an insect house to be installed on top both to increase visibility and add a practical component to the sign.  While that project is still pending, Dita took this original design and added lighting using the post to create this stunning entrance to our business.

photo-3Of course the installation skills, the joinery, the ability to hide electrical wires and the use of the right finish all come from years of experience in designing and building for the out of doors.  It starts with the spark or sparks of inspiration but requires true expertise for completion.  To me both the end product and the process itself are equally inspiring.


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