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775 Pacific Rd. Unit #35  Oakville, ON  L6L 6M4

Sign Design Changes over Time

About Signs has seen our fair share of sign design changes over time in our 20 years of business.  In this blog post we tackle how the signs of Hamilton, Burlington and Oakville have evolved in terms of Vehicle Graphics, Storefronts and Awnings over the last one hundred plus years.  Many of these older images were taken from Vintage Hamilton, Vintage Burlington and Vintage Oakville which are Facebook pages where people post historical photographs.  The more modern signs are from signs we have created.

Vehicle Graphics

Vehicle Lettering in Hamilton – 1900

This is a photo of the Hamilton Spectator Delivery Vehicles in 1911.  Back then, people realized the benefits of vehicle lettering to advertise what your company does and advertised this on horse drawn wagons.

1900 Hamilton Spectator Vehicle Graphic


1936 Vehicle Lettering

In 1936 Vehicle Lettering became even more important.  This vehicle  for Wright Fruit had very elaborate stenciling painted on to advertise their services.  Companies were beginning to add their phone numbers to their service vehicle lettering.

Vehicle Lettering

2014 Vehicle Wraps

This is a Vehicle Wrap we did for Altencan Inc, a company who does solar panel installations throughout the GTA area.  With vehicle wraps and vehicle graphics we can create fantastic images for your car and service vehicle that explains what you do, how to contact you and what your name is.  Although people may not want your product or service today, they may tuck your company in the back of their head for when they truly desire what you are offering.

Vehicle Wrap Van



Dome Awning

The Murray Hotel in Oakville used Dome Awnings to add a touch of class to their business.  Notice how there is no lettering or advertising at all on their awning.  Their awning does have frills which gives the building a warm yet elegant look.

Murray Hotel Oakville


Classic Awning

Below is an image that shows when awnings began to have lettering on them from Hamilton Ontario.  We’re not sure of the exact time frame of this image.  Perhaps it’s the 50’s.  The awning makes the business look like a store front, inviting people in.  It’s a nice contrast to the bank, which offers a service, and relies less on foot traffic.

old awning design

Esquire Dome Awning

A dome awning has come back into fashion.  While not every business is suited towards a dome awning, it does match the image of a business which provides a quality service.  Today you can have anything printed on your awning.  You can have frills as well to maintain a classic look.

Funeral Home Awning

Storefront Signs

Push Thru Lettering – 1958

This photo was taken in 1958 at Power Supermarket at Upper Gage and Fennell.  The vintage push through lettering is quite different from what we use now, as seen below.  Photo credit goes to Doug Southon.

Power Grocery Store Hamilton

Push Thru and Channel Lettering – 2014

Today, we can feature storefront signs that are illuminated, so they look great at night and in the day.


Channel Letters for Parties 'n' More


As you can see, signs have evolved with technology over the years.  We’ve gone from hand lettering on horse drawn carriages to stenciled lettering, to amazing vehicle graphics.  Our storefront signs used to be painstakingly carved out of wood and painted.  No however,the are machine manufactured and coloured with materials that won’t fade or weather.