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The “Coke Cop” Sign

As collectors we are always on the search for signs that are unique and have the wow factor. One of those signs we believe is the Coca-Cola Policeman Crossing Sign What makes this sign a real standout is its size, shape and the colors of the policeman crossing guard. Originally produced and released in the 1950’s as a promotional piece for Coca-Cola.  This was a very popular item for schools all over the country to warn drivers of an upcoming school and crosswalk The back side of the sign showed a Coke bottle and the words Thank You and Resume Speed. The original signs stand 5’ tall and have the Coke-Cola name cast in the base with a date stamp at the bottom (IE. A-M 1-56) What a ingenious marketing idea for its time that appealed to the kids, schools and local communities. The original signs are rare however can be found in the $2500.00 – $3500.00 range Garage Art has steel reproductions in sizes up to 60” from $40.00 to $250.00.

By: Steve Johnson (Founder of Garage Art)

I remember from a young age sitting at the window late at night watching the activity at the Texaco station on N.E. Halsey street in Portland, OR. The beckoning glow of the Texaco Star sign brought me comfort and to this day makes me nostalgic for the 60’s

The Texaco Star sign ignites memories of the “good old days” for even non-collectors. We all remember that road trip, filling up with our parents or first learning to drive. Texaco was ubiquitous on American roads. 

Texaco was an independent company until it merged operations with Chevron Corporation in 2001. For many years, Texaco was one of the only brands in the US selling under the same name in all 50 states. Hence, why most Americans alive during its tenure feel a connection to it. 

Personally, I always looked forward to going to Grandpa’s house because it was right behind the Texaco station. I remember the big Texaco Star sign illuminating the street and the station attendants running out when the driveway bell rang. 

There was just something fascinating about watching this activity at night from the upstairs bedroom window as a small kid. 

I’m fortunate to have followed my childhood curiosity and passion in my career. It evolved from collecting signs to founding Garage Art to increase access for other enthusiasts. Naturally, Texaco signs are some of our most popular. 

As I travel across the country, to this day, the sight of a Texaco sign still puts a smile on my face. 

For any collector, a Texaco sign is a must have. Original signs still run in a reasonable price range from $800-$15,000. 42’’ reproduction versions average around $325. 

By: Steve Johnson (Founder of Garage Art) 

My fascination with S&H Green Stamps started early on in my childhood years. In the early 1960’s I traveled with my Dad between Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon on highway 99. I always looked forward to the next gas stop at a Standard or Richfield station. These were Dad’s favorites.

The S&H Green Stamp sign predominantly displayed that S&H Stamps came with your fill up. As a kid, these souvenirs excited me. The rest of the trip was spent licking and sticking stamps in the redemption book.

S&H Green Stamps, operated by the Sperry & Hutchinson company, began in the 1930’s and ran through the late 1980’s.  The height of its popularity was in the 1960’s. It was one of the country’s first retail rewards programs. You could obtain stamps at supermarkets, department stores and gas stations. They boasted that their rewards book was the largest publication in the United States and they issued three times more stamps than the U.S Postal System! 

Like many rewards programs, it seemingly took thousands of stamps to redeem even just a toaster. This was especially true in the 1970s when the program’s popularity started to decline. Customers needed more stamps to earn rewards. 

If you have ever owned an old car, then surely you have found old S&H Stamps stuffed in the glove box or hiding under the seats. 

Naturally, one of the very first signs we purchased for our collection was an S&H sign which we still have today.

These signs are unique and colorful. They’re a great addition to any sign collection. Original signs are still very affordable and run in the $150.00 – $500.00 range. Reproduction versions run from $40.00 -$125.00.  Owning one of these signs is like owning a piece of American history! 

By: Steve Johnson (Founder of Garage Art)

My obsession with old gas signs started 32 years ago with the purchase of an original Texaco Petrox pump sign. I bought it from the owner of a local orchard in Manson, Washington. My family collected old signs and antiques. However, I never saw the value in collecting them because of the cost. But after my first treasured purchase of that Texaco sign I was hooked. I went on to buy every old gas sign I could afford.

Any collector will tell you that the hunt is just as much fun as the actual purchase. Over the years, my collection grew. At the outset, I considered myself a purist collector and never bought reproduced signs. 

In 2005, I pivoted and started turning toward reproduced signs. Original signs were too cost prohibitive to grow my collection to the level I wanted. I thought that there must be more people out there that love old signs but couldn’t afford the originals. Our company, Garage Art, was born out of this idea. 

In 2006 we opened our doors as a place where people could buy quality reproduction signs and garage decor. One of the first signs we reproduced was a Washington Chief Gasoline sign. 

A few Washington Chief Gasoline signs in NOS (new old stock) condition surfaced during the 1990’s in an antique store in Seattle.  This brand was created by the Inland Refinery in Spokane Washington which operated from 1939 to 1957. Inland originally planned to open stations in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.  The porcelain signs were produced to mount in advance of new stations opening. Inland opened the first station in Spokane followed then a second in Aberdeen Washington. Shortly thereafter they were bought out by Wasatch Oil. 

The original signs went into storage with little to no value only to surface 30 years later. The original 6-foots signs have vibrant colors and have become valuable collector items. Prices for originals sell between $20k – $75k. For most, this is just too much. Our production version certainly does not replace or devalue the originals, but allows people to enjoy owning a version of this sign. 

Garage Art now sells over 3500 items including an expansive collection of other vintage oil and gas signs. Over 90% of our items are made here in the USA. Our goal is to provide more collectors access by marketing quality reproductions as an alternative to originals. But we still highly encourage the hunt for the originals! 

By: Steve Johnson (Founder of Garage Art) 

Neon signs beckon customers to stop by. They’re timeless, fun and welcoming. Depending on your business model and clientele, a neon sign for your business may be the right move to draw in customers or invite them to stay a while. You may go the custom route or go with a stock item that’s on brand. In this post, we’ll walk you through a few tips for choosing the perfect neon sign for your business. 

Messaging 

Neon signs pack a punch. That’s why you don’t want to make a frivolous decision when buying one for your place of business. The most important factors to consider are aesthetic and messaging. Who do you want to attract? What does your business stand for? What caters to the tastes of your prime customer base? 

Once you can answer these questions, you can dive into the specifics like design, materials, colors and price point. 

Neon Sign Designs 

Neon signs are a versatile art form. The design you choose will depend on your budget, space and how much attention you want the sign to draw. One of the most popular and classic designs is the 36’’ circular sign. The 36’’ size draws attention without being obtrusive. You can find a plethora of logos, brands and slogans in the 36’’ design in stock at Garage Art for your business. 

LED lighted signs provide ample illumination to light up a space but are more subdued than a typical neon sign. This design is well suited for garages and race shops as it can easily substitute for an otherwise boring light bulb or lamp. 

Marquee neon signs are perfect for businesses that want to add a touch of nostalgia. These signs capture the old school essence patrons are looking for at diners, cafes or bars. 

Simple neon signs highlighting a word or phrase in one or just a couple colors can make your space instantly Instagrammable. Generate organic social media buzz with an Instagram friendly neon sign. Draw some inspiration from these examples

Neon Sign Colors 

Before purchasing or custom designing a neon sign consider the colors you want. Many design-forward companies maintain a style guide with specific colors, fonts and layouts they use for anything tied to the business. Although many businesses aren’t that specific when it comes to design, you want your sign to be on brand

For example, if I want to purchase a Ford sign but I want it to pop and warm up the room, I may choose this red Mustang sign over a classic blue logo sign. 




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