Creating a future in signs


Leo Gomez (Photo from Gomez website)

Leo Gomez creates hand painted signs for mainly small companies – from hotels to seafood restaurants to a yoga shop.

He runs a hand painted signs and murals company in St. Petersberg, FL, where he teaches classes on sign painting.

Read Gomez’ step by step tutorial on hand lettering a sign, or creating prints based on some hand lettered message.  He also offered good advice on bringing together your digitized hand lettered sign with photographs.

Sign painting may be considered a graphic design career.  U.S. graphic designers earn a median salary of $50,370 last year, and about one in five are self employed.  Since my grandfather was a sign maker who worked for Chrysler and later opened his own cheese shop, this career has always fascinated me.

Detroit has several sign painting artists / entrepreneurs.  Among them is Kelly Golden, who has painted signs professionally since 2010. Her website says she has created for Third Man Records, Habitat for Humanity, 1XRun and others. She also creates stickers such as her “Listen to women” one that we adore.

It seems that businesses and nonprofits are interested in this old fashioned, handmade way of promoting themselves.

One of our Mint alumni creates awesome signs for us. Based on our recommendation, Maddie Teece painted a sign on artist Michael Willenborg’s art bus last year during the Belle Isle Art Fair.   She also has created signs for Mint exhibits such as Summer in the City and thank you signs.

Thank yous are beautiful; this one was created by Mint alumni Maddie Teece.

Is sign painting a creative career for you? Or is it a way to earn extra income? Try it out by painting signs for friends or a local entrepreneur, or offer to create a new sign as a volunteer for Mint!

– © Vickie Elmer, 2019