View Full Version : Retro Signs - How are they made

Peter Meacham
06-15-2008, 10:24 PM
We have all seen the metal and wood retro signs for sale in gift shops, flea markets, etc. The ones with 50's/60's themes.

They have faded and worn looking graphics, rusty corners (metal signs), etc. I understand how the graphics themselves are made but how are they printed on the substrate. Is it sublimation, flat bed printed, screen printed?

Can anyone shed some light on the whole process please.

Thanks, Pete

Joe Pelonio
06-16-2008, 8:31 AM
Most of those are screen printed. You can buy them wholesale for $6-8 each in large quantities then resell. I have made a few custom metal ones, for a fund raiser by a local car club. Flat bed printers could also be used with a shear to cut them up after printing.

Peter Meacham
06-16-2008, 8:40 AM
Thanks Joe - I am interested in doing the wood ones. I saw some custom made ones the other day - for a local dude ranch - and they were just done on ordinary slats of .5" plywood - but they looked great.

Do you think those were screen printed as well?

Joe Pelonio
06-16-2008, 8:54 AM
Most any that are sold in quantity are likely screen printed. It's the least expensive way to mass produce. On the other hand, if you were to cut stencils then hand paint the look would be much better and fetch a better price.