Orange City News, O.C. Register

Orange City News OC Register.
Last November I was contacted by Rebecca Kheel, a writer for the Orange County Register, North County Bureau, to do a profile on the art of sign painting. Rebecca had visited my website and thought hand painted signs would be a good subject for an article that readers of the Register would find interesting.
I was flattered and had to wonder about all this interest in a trade I’ve been in for over 40 years. I am still an active sign painter and don’t plan to retire for a while so I agreed to the interview.
Rebecca showed up on time to the house and was a pleasant and intelligent professional. A photographer arrived about 15 minutes later. It was nice to sit and talk with these two as Rebecca guided me thru the conversations as I showed them my design studio and the sign shop. Many pictures were taken and you can read the article and see the pictures at this link:
Rebecca was kind enough to send me some copies of the article in print form and I was contacted by a company that frames award pages, something I wasn’t going to do, but then I thought a framed memento was appropriate to highlight such a fine article.
So here it is. I hope you will enjoy the article and have a better understanding of this trade and the impact it has had on both commerce and the visual communications here in America and throughout the world

NPR Radio Interview on Traditional Sign Painting

Hello Friends and Fellow Sign Painters,

I was contacted this August by Alana Rinicella, a reporter for NPR radio, 89.3, to do an interview about Traditional Sign Painting. Her goal as she saw it was to ‘share the art of sign painting with others’.
She had seen a clip of ‘The Sign Painters’ movie and was looking for a local sign painter to interview. Alana then found Traditional Sign Maker Magazine, an e-magazine showcasing sign painters. James Thomas, a local Sign Painter and reporter for Traditional Sign Maker Magazine, had interviewed me several months ago, and Alana read the article.

You can see that article here at

Our meeting was scheduled for August 14. I had never done a radio interview before and she said pictures would be taken and an article written. I thought okay, go with the flow.

I read the finished article and listened to the edited radio interview. I feel really proud to be on NPR radio. An old friend contacted me today and reminded me that 89.3 is a Blues station. I used to listen to 89.3 years ago, and an aquaintance of mine, Bernie Pearl, was one of the original disc jockeys. It was also good to see the video on the Disneyland sign shop and see the guys I used to work with. The video on the ‘Basketball Court’ in the Matterhorn brought back memories of when I rode up the two man elevator and Art allowed me to sign my name on a metal beam, for lettering some basketballs on my own time.

Alana was gracious and took me thru the process like a true professional that she is. I hope you will enjoy this article and it will give you an appreciation of the craft known as Sign Painting and the impact it has had on our visual world.

Here is the NPR interview

Patrick G. Smith

Traditional Sign Painter

Sign Making and the Art of the Web

My old sign making website

My old sign making website.

My name is Patrick Smith and I’ve been engaged in Sign Making for 40 years. I just received a note in my email account from David, reminding me to make a post to launch my new website that he designed.

I know that once I post the first ‘blog’ I should be alright with the rest. But on some levels this 66 year old brain has trouble understanding a blog. I shouldn’t have problems understanding a post, as I had to write the ones for each picture in my website portfolio.

For all you out there in my age group, embracing technology, and wanting to have it work for you, I hope that you will be able to find that comfortable mix of new world technology and old world experience. I think I did.

Dave has a real appreciation and love for comic book art. My early inspirations were comic and cartoon characters in print and on the screen and the great lettering that accompanied the art work. Without a doubt, I put Dave thru the paces and thank God he was real patient with my artistic personality. He knows the technical side of the web and worked at setting me and my website up in a way I could never have done. I furnished artwork and ideas that he worked into the design and I believe we came up with a good site.

I learned early on in my career as a sign painter and designer that educating my clients is an ongoing process, just as I am learning something new every day in my craft. That is why I wanted to make sure that folks who read my ‘tools of the trade’ would feel that they had a better understanding of the art of sign making as well as a visual comprehension of what sign writing and designing is.

So, here is my new website. I hope it gives all of you who peruse the pages some insight into the craft of sign painting and design. I hope you will realize the significant role the craft has played in the history of advertising and the importance of what it can be for you, the business person looking for that look that will attract the eye of your customers.