It's a recent obsession. I've been tracking down and sketching signs near San Jose, California.The nice thing about hunting down these hidden signs is that every so often, someone will write in and tell me about a sign I haven't sketched, and sometimes it's surprising how much I haven't discovered of places that are quite literally in my own backyard.
Here are some recent sketches:
This is Cambrian Bowl. The plaza it stands in is being sold, and there's speculation that the bowling alley will disappear.
The first time I sketched him, he was holding a bright red muffler. But I thought he looked too benign in the sketch.
So I sketched him again. I chose a more dramatic angle this time, and the sharp shadows helped, but this time he was missing the muffler he had been holding before. It had been taken down for repairs.
This last quick sketch is for a business that no longer exists. This sign for Stephen's Meat Products now marks the edge of a parking lot.
If you know of any more old signs in the San Francisco Bay Area: shop signs, large neon signs, theater marquees, anything interesting and with a history that I can sketch, drop me a line and let me know!
A growing set of my vintage sign sketches is here on flickr.