What does a Signwriter do?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 23 November 2019
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A signwriter utilizes a number of different methods, techniques, and pieces of equipment to create signs for use in numerous commercial applications. These signs can include everything from small plaques to be displayed on the front of a business to large billboards and vinyl signs and lettering for use in windows. Some signwriters use traditional methods and equipment to make these signs, including various hand tools, sandblasting, and painting by hand onto wood, vinyl, metal, or other materials. A signwriter can also utilize modern computer aided design (CAD) software to ensure accuracy and precision in creating a sign for a client.

In general, the various duties a signwriter performs are aimed at creating a sign for a client or business. The methods a signwriter uses typically depend on the project he or she is working on, and a client will typically provide details regarding the final product that is desired. A signwriter is often a combination of visual artist and craftsperson who comes up with different ideas for a sign and presents these concepts to the client. Once the client chooses the sign he or she wants, the signwriter can then begin creating the sign.


Different signwriters use different techniques in creating signs, and traditional methods include a variety of different hand tools. The techniques and tools used typically depend on the materials a signwriter works with, though various types of saws and sandblasters are quite common. Wood, metal, vinyl, plastic, and other materials can all be used in creating signs for a client, depending on the desires and budget of a client. Signwriters tend to not only do the artistic work in creating the concept of a sign, but also physically create the sign as well.

A signwriter can also utilize more modern techniques and technology to create large signs using various modern mediums. CAD software is often used to ensure precision and to create a sign that can easily be printed through large format printers used to make banners and vinyl signs. Other hardware can also be used to transfer a three-dimensional creation in a CAD program into the real world by mechanically carving or molding the image out of a piece of wood, metal, or plastic. This allows modern signwriters to create signs that are as finely crafted as handmade signs, but the computer system can easily replicate these signs on demand with little further effort.


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