St. Pete artist resurrects hand-painted sign industry after going flat in the 1980s

Anyone who's driven around St. Petersburg has seen the iconic, hand-painted signage of Sun Signs.

The man behind the paintbrush takes pride in resurrecting the style that went by the wayside in the 1980s. 

"We try to keep things pretty classic, how a sign shop would have been run in the 1950s," explained owner and artist Jeff Williams, who carefully swipes his paintbrushes on glass windows, storefronts, and placards all over the Bay Area. 

Hand-painted sign from Sun Signs

Williams says the hand-painted sign industry came to a halt in the 1980s when vinyl signage became popular. But he says there has been a bit of a resurgence for the art form lately. 

"There’s not a whole lot of sign painters anymore these days and I’d say that’s because there’s no more schools for it or traditional apprenticeships as there were in the past."

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Williams is doing his part to help the industry bounce back.

Hand-painted sign from Sun Signs

"I feel a bit like a keeper of the craft in that I’m referencing what’s come before me and trying to bring that forward," he said.

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Hand-painted sign from Sun Signs

Sun Signs St. Pete is popular with restaurants, coffee shops, tattoo shops and barbershops.

"When people really want to showcase that they are doing something special and that their work is quality, they want their sign to reflect that," Williams shared. It gives them a little bit more of a personal feel, a bit more of the human touch and character and you can sort of put a little bit more of the face to the name."

Hand-painted sign from Sun Signs

Williams also paints murals, cards, small signs and even cars. 

LINK: For more information visit

Hand-painted sign from Sun Signs

Hand-painted sign from Sun Signs


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