5 Creative Ideas to Achieve a Vintage Look for Modern Business Signs


Each industry experiences trends that go straight to a more traditional look. Business sectors such as fashion, architecture, and even the motor industry pay homage to the past. To integrate with technological advances, designers frequently take certain pieces from previous designs, giving the final product a brand-new look and feel. And it might even be something as plain as the material utilized or as intricate as a certain shade of color. The same is true of modern commercial signage. A vintage look can be a wonderful approach to honoring the past while still keeping a contemporary look.

Vintage Branding

Customers are usually skeptical of something that doesn’t look familiar, so trying to sell your business as a “new” brand can backfire.  Most of us seek confirmation that the businesses we choose can provide us with outstanding, interesting experiences so we value a few things more than a long track record of success.

There are times when the most effective marketing strategy occasionally consists of repeatedly spreading the same solid idea image. That explains why retro branding is so popular. It appeals to the sense of security that plain, established businesses can provide, which in turn, persuades us that they are trustworthy.

A vintage brand somehow speaks to our sense of devotion and admiration. These businesses appear to transcend time and space as if the current struggle for commercial dominance isn’t a priority because they remain faithful to their goals over the years and embody traditional concepts that we love.

If you think vintage branding is perfect for your line of business, below are a few classic looks that are making a reappearance in modern business signs:

  1. Tubing with the Use of LED

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, neon accent tubing was frequently utilized to draw attention to buildings, gas stations, and casinos. The use of neon has significantly decreased over time because it is costly to maintain and illuminate, and is also not eco-friendly. LED tubing has gradually begun to take the place of the formerly prevalent accent lighting as neon has already been phased out. It is becoming a wonderful resource for the old neon aesthetic that businesses want to acquire. Flexible LED tubing can be created to resemble exposed neon letters in addition to being utilized for accent lighting.

  1. LED Lights
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Similar to neon tubing, marquee light bulbs were originally common in restaurants, casinos, and theaters. They may even be utilized in channel letters with an open face or as chase lights. Given that they were fluorescent lights, they had a short lifespan and required replacement quite frequently. At this stage, LED bulbs are cost-effective and have high durability. Open-faced channel letters can now be used as an example of a customized application. Even though the look is essentially the same, burning-out bulbs are no longer a persistent problem.

  1. Weathered Steel

Weathered steel, often known as Corten steel, is used to create the illusion that an object is older than it actually is. The rusting process is accelerated and then stopped when it comes to corten steel. To make rust, a water and salt solution is used to wash the steel. A transparent coat is then used to stop the process after the intended look has been reached. It is commonly utilized as an accent on architecture as well as on monument signs.

Despite the fact that many designers and architects love the way Corten looks, it can be expensive. As a result, faux rust paint treatments are now available to imitate the appearance of weathered steel. A faux rust-painted finish also has the added benefit of not leaving rain-induced rust streaks.

  1. Vintage Wood

Vintage wood accent walls or furnishings are highly popular. Even signs are starting to use it now! It can serve as a background for interior signs or as an accent for signage. The delicate nature of the wood backer pairs well with the letter’s harsh metal components.

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For outdoor business signage, another choice is sandblasted wood signage. Sandblasting is actually used to carve images into the material. This adds depth to the sign rather than making it merely a flat wooden panel.

  1. Neon

Although neon will never again be as widely used as it used to be, it nevertheless has a place in today’s business signs. Since illumination is easily impacted by the harsh outside weather, we’ve seen neon used inside several establishments nowadays. And I’m not referring to the liquor signs that are visible in pubs. Today, it’s used to provide brand logos with a nostalgic appearance which can only be achieved with neon.


Old trends and styles have a habit of resurfacing in all businesses, regardless of the industry they are in. In the sign market, vintage designs will always be popular because they evoke a certain sense of nostalgia that a lot of customers enjoy. In order for this to work, the look and feel of the sign must be perfect, whether it’s for accent lighting, marquee illumination, or even sign backgrounds. Regardless of whether the rusted antique signage appears to be from the 1970s or 1980s, it should work as if it was brand-new.



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