The History of Vintage Beer Signs

There was a time when beer companies just about had a unique sign for each variety of beer they sold. These signs adorned bars, or course, as well as stores, outdoors, indoors, in newspapers and magazines, and in nearly every other place a company could post it. Signs were their number one tool for advertising– and it worked. Now classic beer signs are hard to come across for new companies. Today, logos show up on t-shirts, television, and other promotional items. But there are few places to see a vintage beer sign in action, save for maybe in a collector’s house.

Why Signs Became So Iconic

Back in the days of classic advertising, think the roaring ‘20s in American cities like New York and Chicago, it was hard to look anywhere without seeing signage advertising some kind of product. Signs advertising beer companies as well as cigarettes, clothing, makeup, and just about anything you can think of. Signs were, and continue to be, an effective and affordable way to grab a customer’s attention. The vintage signs that collectors now covet were once commonplace in a world of newly discovered industry and advertising.

Signs came in a variety of colors and styles, sizes and materials. Enamel signs were very common, though signs were also made on wood, tin, and light up signs with bulbs or neon tubes. Neon signs in particular didn’t really show up until the ‘40s, and even then they were few and far between. The neon craze didn’t catch on until the ‘80s when all kinds of companies began to adopt neon signs. Now neon signs are seen all over the place both as advertisements or as open/closed signs in shop windows.

Artists and designers commissioned by companies created unique logos and artworks for the signs, along with iconic fonts and colors used in those times. Now we see those styles as classic and old timey, timeless and comforting. It’s no wonder why surviving signs are so sought after by collectors and decorators– they make perfect additions to homes and businesses.

Finding a Classic Beer Sign

Finding vintage signs might end up being a little harder than expected. Old signs that were made with tin are probably rusted over, and paper, wood, or enamel signs can incur their own damages over the years. Light up and neon signs might have electrical problems and buyers could be better off buying a vintage style neon sign new form companies like NeonSigns4You. That way they get the charm of a vintage sign with the peace of mind knowing that it will light up and have a warranty if the sign stops working. Classic vintage signs show up in thrift stores and antique shops all the time in a range of conditions. There’s no knowing what sign someone will come across in shops like that, though they should be wary of modern recreations of old vintage signs.

The History of Vintage Beer Signs 2
Drew Hendricks
Drew Hendricks is a tech, social media and environmental addict. He's written for many major publishers such as National Geographic and Technorati.

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