August '19

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10 THE SHOP AUGUST 2019 about 20 percent of the height. It's best to use a professional sign painter and he will know the guidelines to follow. You don't have to have all the text equally large. Make the most important words big and the less important words smaller. Do not include any words that are unim- portant. If your shop is on a service road off the exit, you may want to add Take the Next Exit. Be bold, but simple, in your use of images, shapes and color in your design. BUILDING SIGNS In addition to highway signs, a second con- sideration is the sign on the front of your building. This should also be simple and bold—at least when it comes to presenting the name of the business. The name should also be presented in a larger typeface than any other information. In some cases, you may want to incorpo- rate a logo into the sign on your building as well. Separate, smaller signs can be used on the front of the building to convey whether the shop is currently open or closed and what the normal hours of operation are. VINTAGE AUTOMOTIVE SIGNS Vintage car dealership signs (automobilia) and oil company signs (petroliana) can be used effectively to decorate a shop and to succinctly tell auto enthusiasts what the business is about. Don't plan this type of thing thinking the old signs are cheaper than hiring a pro- fessional sign painter. A simple porcelain car dealer sign can fetch $3,000-$5,000 at auction. The neon signs that once lit up dealerships at night can cost $20,000. On the other hand, these nostalgia items seem to keep climbing in value and may turn out to be a great investment, rather than just an advertising expense. CARS & TRUCKS ON A STICK Before getting to the car-in-the-air approach to business promotion, we want to relate the story that insect exterminator Long Motor Co. (a.k.a. LMC Truck) in Lenexa, Kansas is easy to spot. Old signs on the building and "banjo signs" up in the air grab attention instantly. Mustang Boss 429 specialist Bob Perkins decorated his shop with old FoMoCo neons. Larry Fissette's lighted car lot in DePere, Wisconsin once caught the eye of Jay Leno. The comedian was there to perform a show and saw the old Ford dealership building and stopped by. This truck on a pole gets a lot of looks and customers for a shop in Clarence, Iowa.

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