Old West Signs Each issue we profile some of the finest!

purveyors-of-old-west-nomad“Sign” language has communicated messages to the public for thousands of years.

But for craftsmanship that will stand the test of time, Western aficionados should turn to Old West Signs.

Each rugged, solid wood sign can carry the flavor of a booming business well on its way to striking it rich or a trusty ranch where your pardners include dependable four-legged friends.

When asked to design a sign for a business or a home, Mark and Alora Westra of Greenfield, Indiana, always orient their design to the era and locale. “The textures and feel of the sign is important to us so it conveys history and balances with the environment it is going in,” Mark says.

To truly reflect the era, your sign should carry a symbol commonly associated with your business or ranch since many of your customers would have been illiterate.

For a home, you may want to invest in a Concentration-type sign, which links symbols to create the owner’s name (for instance, if your last name is Trefut, your symbol would be a tree with a foot sticking out of it).

Businesses may do well with figural signs (if you’re a boot maker, place your message in a boot-shaped sign), or they may want to use some age-old symbols often associated with their business—horse head for a saddler’s shop; shotgun for a gunsmith; tensed arm and mallet for the gold beater; or a spinning wheel for a weaver. If a symbol doesn’t exist for your business, or you want to be innovative, use an image that will identify your trade to the public. But, if you just want some fancy typography to send out your strong message, Mark and Alora can help you pick out the perfect typeface.

If you’re not in the market for a custom-made sign but are looking for something Western to accent your décor (maybe a Buffalo Bill Wild West Show sign?), then head on over to www.oldwestsigns.com and see if you can’t find something that’ll knock your boots off.

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