Signs of the Times - Collecting Vintage Signs
Vintage signs have long had a large collector following. Because they come in all shapes, sizes, ages, colors and materials it's not hard to find a vintage sign that appeals to you, or that fits within an existing decor.
Why are collectors attracted to vintage signs? Apart from the versatility mentioned above, nostalgia is a big part of sign collecting. Long after a building, a business and even a product is gone, signs remind us of things we as individuals or society as a whole once needed, wanted or even treasured. Signs can also demonstrate the evolution of a product, a business, and even society. Take Pepsi for example - their logo, and by extension their sign(s), has been evolving for decades. An old Pepsi sign, then, is a symbol not only of what Pepsi once was, but of what the world was then too.
Some people collect vintage signs for a simpler reason - because they look cool. While some signs simply look artistic, others that were hand-created or hand-illustrated really can be considered art. Such signs can easily cost thousands of dollars. If your tastes are less exacting, then you can get a colorful and interesting vintage sign for significantly less and still have something to talk about.
There are a number of signs that we see in our daily lives. Signs for products, on the road, indicating street names and company logos. With all these signs out there, it should come as no surprise that many people collect different types of signs from various locations and time periods.
Products that no longer exist or have changed logos are collectors items. As are road signs from famous streets and highways, or neon signs for beer companies. All of these can be considered vintage signs, and can be worth money to collectors.
There are places that buy old signs and restore them, cleaning them of rust and dirt, reselling them to new collectors. Vintage sign restorers are many different places. They don't discriminate on the condition of the sign, looking to restore many old pieces of history, as many collectors see them.
Iconic signs are as much a part of our culture as the language and values we share. To some people, just as dolls or baseball cards, vintage signs are seen as a part of nostalgia, as a collectable from another era. They are a reminder of a time in our lives when things were simpler and easier.