Santa Claus Custom Banner

A custom hand painted banner reading Season's Greetings done in enamel paintI always liked doing custom banners and I still do. I use scaled artwork converted to a transparency and hand letter my banners with one shot enamel. When I had my shop in Anaheim I could do 40’ banners if necessary. Most of the time they were around 8’ in length. Today there is the option of digital print and vinyl letters to use instead of hand lettering. The banner material has greatly improved from the ‘drill’ cloth that I used when I first started out in the sign business.

I’ve always loved the Coca Cola Santa done by Haddon Sundblom and all the work he did for Coke.

I wanted a Christmas banner to display over my girlfriend Anne’s garage door for a Christmas party we were having in 1984.

As with all my hand lettered work at the time, I made a pattern using a transparency and the overhead projector.

I did the script on paper with a marker until I put together the right combination. You can use a marker, charcoal or brush. It is a method I learned from a book on Graphic Design and because it’s done with the natural flow, when it is enlarged it looks like it was hand scripted.

This was a lot of fun to do. I had my daughter Amy help me paint the background with bulletin enamel. The banner has worked as an invitation for Christmas parties for many years and is still in good shape. My wife Anne and I have had Christmas Sing Alongs yearly since that first banner.

McFadden’s Irish Pub Custom Metal Sign

This custom metal sign was hand painted
This bar & grill has a ground level custom metal sign by the entrance and is located in Tustin and was known for many years as McClures Bar & Grill. The new owners wanted a new look and of course a new name.

The logo was designed by a graphic designer and I incorporated it into the oval format of the existing sign. I designed the artwork in CorelDraw, made a transparency and then a pattern to pounce onto the surface. The background is primed and painted enamel and the lettering and logo are hand painted. All the lettering was done on site for this out door sign.

Joyce Bright Interiors Gold Leaf Sign

This is a hand lettered and gold leaf exterior plywood signJoyce Bright Interiors needed a hand lettered gold leaf sign. They have been in the City of Orange for a number of years. Carol contacted me from an ad I had in the Old Towne Orange Plaza Review. She was moving to a new location at 300 Chapman Ave into a historical building that also houses the Chamber of Commerce. Carol asked me to design a hanging sign using their logo, and also working drawings so that the city could approve a permit. I did the design drawings in CorelDraw.

It took awhile but once the client and city approved the drawings I moved on with the job. The panel was cut from ¾” mdo plywood, primered and painted with enamel. After making a pattern, I did the hand lettering. I suggested a gold leaf border and they thought it would look nice and help the sign stand out. The client had the brackets made from drawings I furnished and they had a sub contractor install the sign.

Disneyland Railroad Tender

This Disneyland railroad tender was designed and drawn on paper then hand lettered with enamel
The Disneyland railroad was one of the original rides at the park, and all of the trains are hand lettered. I worked at Disneyland for seven years. I did hand lettering every day on projects throughout the park that included window lettering on Main St., wall signs throughout the Magic Kingdom and various silk screened projects and show cards for cast members celebrating retirement or birthdays. In 2005 the park was literally gold leafed throughout, including the Magic Castle and the Merry-Go-Round. It was something to see and I’m glad I got to be part of that.

On this particular job WDI decided to redesign the lettering on the tender for the C.K. Holiday train. Warren asked me to redesign a computer created drawing and draw it out by hand as it was done in the old days.

This is the design that was approved. It is lettered with One Shot enamel. The tender was repainted in the Disneyland Paint Shop and brought to the Disneyland Sign Shop. The work was completed in a large room in the Sign Shop building that was used for the purpose of doing large projects like lettering train tenders.

Columbia Fire Engine Vehicle Graphic

This vintage fire truck is being restored and I did the vehicle graphic for the cowling lettersThis fire engine is a beautiful machine, gold leafed and pinstriped, It was built in 1926 by Seagraves Fire Engine Company. The placement of the vehicle graphic was crucial to the beauty of the existing paint.

Dave is in the process of restoring the complete truck and wanted a new name designed for the truck and have it placed on the split hood and also on the gas tank. I also did some sketches for the illustration of a ‘southern belle’ to decorate the lower part of the hood. I did several sketches and after they were approved went on site to do the gold leaf and hand lettering.

I worked in a covered garage and Dave wanted to learn some gold leaf technique so he helped me where he could. I did the stripping and all the brush work that you see. The work took several days and it turned out to be a really nice job. I hope Dave learned enough to stripe the rest of the fire truck. I haven’t heard yet how that went.