Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 18

AT LARGE
DAREK

JOHNSON

ON ANY SUNDAY

is ST's Editor-at-Large.
Email him at darek.johnson
@stmediagroup.com.

Era-appropriate museum exhibits

OW do you as a sign
artist (sign painter?) feel
about restored, commercial
vehicles - or race cars -
of the pre-vinyl era that are displayed
in a museum exhibit with cut vinyl
letters, or vinyl gold leaf, instead of
the hand lettering that would have
been present on the original?
Last Sunday morning, I asked this
question of Cincinnati's renowned
pinstriper, gilder and sign artist Jim
"Dauber" Farr. In reply, he recounted
how he had recently visited the Gilmore
Car Museum (Hickory Corners, MI)
and there noticed that several of
their historic race cars - a '47 Hudson
pickup and a '49 Cadillac in particular

H

- were decorated with vinyl letters
instead of era-appropriate handpainted letters. Dauber said, "I went
to the curator's office and complained,
but they excused the vinyl as the
decoration method on the cars when
they received them."
This question and conversation
started when, on the previous Sunday,
my wife and I visited the International
Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame
and Museum in Chattanooga, TN
because, like Dauber, I was enjoying
the beautifully restored vehicles (tow
trucks, here) but soon disappointedly
realized that several pre-1982 models
were decorated with vinyl letters.
Why pre-1982? Gerber Scientific

PHOTOS BY DAREK JOHNSON

18

SIGNS OF THE TIMES

MAY 2017

introduced the first vinyl cutter, the
Gerber III, in 1982; thus any vehicles that precede that date, to be
accurately displayed, would have
painted graphics, not cut or printed
vinyl. Like the reply to Dauber at the
Gilmore museum, the Chattanooga
museum attendant said their vehicles
were exhibited as they appeared
when donated.
I asked Dauber if he felt a museum
should change out vinyl letters for
era-appropriate hand-brushed letters
on pre-1982 vehicles.
"Hell, yes," he said, not mincing
words and adding, "Any museumdisplayed vehicle graphics should
be correct for the vehicle date."
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Museum is a great place to see the
vehicle graphic transition from paint
to vinyl to digital print. Its 36,000-sq.-ft.
galleries exhibit race cars - Indy,
Formula One, Sprint, Midget, plus
drag racers and motorcycles. There,
you can enjoy studying the development and progression of decoration
styles and the paint to vinyl to ink
transitions, each appropriate for the
vehicle era and thus institutionally
correct.
And, it's the same with gold leaf -
gilding - because even though
imitation gold leaf or vinyl-backed
leaf is effective, less expensive and
quicker (and most people wouldn't
know the difference), any collector,
historian or reader of Kent Smith's
"Gold Leaf Techniques" will immediately see the difference. These
and other hand-painted indicators



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - May 2017

Signs of the Times - May 2017
Contents
From the Editor
St Update
At Large
Technology Review
Leds + Lighting
Vehicles + Vinyl
How to Be Hospitable
Signs Win in a Route
Subcontracting Electric Signage
Strictly Commercial: Big Cat Comin’ at You
New Products
Advertising Index
Last Look
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - Intro
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - BB1
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - BB2
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - Signs of the Times - May 2017
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - BD_L
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - BD
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - Cover2
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 1
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - Contents
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 3
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 4
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 5
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 6
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 7
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - From the Editor
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 9
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - St Update
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 11
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 12
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 13
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 14
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 15
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 16
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 17
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - At Large
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 19
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 20
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 21
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - Technology Review
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 23
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - Leds + Lighting
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 25
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - Vehicles + Vinyl
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 27
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 28
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 29
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - How to Be Hospitable
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 31
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 32
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 33
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 34
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 35
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - Signs Win in a Route
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 37
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 38
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 39
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 40
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 41
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - Subcontracting Electric Signage
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 43
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 44
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 45
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 46
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 47
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - Strictly Commercial: Big Cat Comin’ at You
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 49
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 50
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 51
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 52
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 53
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - New Products
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 55
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 56
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 57
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 58
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 59
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 60
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 61
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 62
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 63
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 64
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 65
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 66
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 67
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Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 69
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 70
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 71
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 72
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 73
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Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 75
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 76
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 77
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 78
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 79
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 80
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 81
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - 82
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - Advertising Index
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - Last Look
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - Cover3
Signs of the Times - May 2017 - Cover4
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