When you see signs today, you probably assume that someone has designed it and through some electromechanical means it was reproduced onto the billboard, automobile, or the sign that the guy on the sidewalk is waving. Most of the time that’s true, but as seen in the video below, humans, or at least Dan Madsen of dustysigns, can still do a great job at it if the proper care is taken.

The start of the process in the video may be familiar to any of you that had to take a mechanical drafting class, as straight horizontal lines are drawn to keep the letters from going all over the place. An outline of each of the letters is drawn, then filled in with careful brush strokes. Finally, a contrasting color is brushed in behind each of the letters, causing them to jump out at the observer. The red and off-white chosen here definitely make me think of an old movie, or at least one set in the middle of the 20th century. I assume was the intended effect.

Of course, it also doesn’t hurt to make a great video to show off your work, or to have an excellent open space to practice your art out of!