Signs: Information or Inspiration?

Mission Inspiration (read Part 1 and Part 2 here) was a success and couldn’t have been more amazing! Our road trip across Idaho with Local Freshies® has come to an end, but now the next phase of fun begins. We captured thousands of images & hours of video along the way. To say we were ‘just inspired’ would be an understatement!

When taking photos, there are the obvious groups of images that you know will spark ideas. It may be a beautiful landscape, delicious food, an interesting person or handmade items but what about signs? You know signs… like street signs or entrance signs. What? They don’t sound very inspirational? You might surprise yourself if you take a little closer look. Informational signs may look ordinary but don’t brush them off. Signs that inspire! They could ignite your next greatest design. Let’s take a look…

Informational Signs that spark the imagination

Informational signs that inspire… what a weird statement, right? Before our road trip, I would have agreed but not anymore. When you read a sign, your main focus is to get the information it’s sharing and then move on to what you really want to be doing. But what if you stopped and really looked at the sign – it’s words, colors, composition, textures, etc. What would you see?

A Grand Welcome

signs that inspire
Northern Nevada to Idaho crossing

How many times have you sped past a ‘Welcome to…’ sign on the highway? Probably every single time. The first thing that caught my eye for this Idaho Welcome Sign was its deep blue color and how it played off the little bit of sky peeking through the clouds.

After pulling over for a closer look, the natural weathered-effect on the wood was exquisite! Wow… to try and replicate that in the studio would be a tough task. The elements of time, sun, rain, freezing & heat all mixed together for maybe decades, created a beautiful frame for a striking presence.

The mixture of fonts in the lettering is also interesting as it calls your attention to ‘IDAHO’ making it the most important part yet being friendly & inviting you to visit. And even though there are fun stickers from past travelers all over the sign, the strong frame and vibrant color still let’s each passer-by know they are going to Idaho where adventure awaits them.

Coffee Points North

signs that inspire custom flooring
North Fork Coffee Roasters, McCall ID

I love coffee and when it’s a small town roaster truly passionate about their beans, I am even more nluv! Signs that inspire aren’t only up above… try looking down once in a while.

Entering the cutest little roaster I’ve ever visited, a vibrant hand-painted landing pad met my feet at the door. With so many ideas and articles about unique flooring, what a great idea to create a stomp area for the elements that is safe from slipping, colorful and original! Most people put mats down but they always end up sliding around or getting caught on the door. What if you made the floor your mat? What a cool idea! A little soap and water and this custom painted catch-all floor space will look great for years to come. I think we might have to try this out at our side door and create a custom floor spot of our own.

Bright Colors for Stains

signs that inspire chalkboards color
6th & Cedar Café, Wallace ID

Local cafés and shops always have brightly drawn signs telling us all kinds of info. Daily specials, wi-fi passwords, fun events – you name it and someone has taken the time to hand-write out the important stuff.

The first time I read this sign I was more interested in the delicious sweets sitting next to it. But as I stood at the counter, I began to stare at the blue and green colors on the chalkboard. They were vibrant and happy and just overall made me smile.

At nluv Studio, we love to work with wood for our signs, boxes, chalkboards and anything else we come up with. When you think of wood, people usually stain it a wood-color or paint it. But what about focusing more on adding color to the wood without covering up it’s gorgeous wood-grain properties? YES, I love it! This simple little sign at a café in Wallace, ID inspired me to add color stains to the nluv Studio color palette as we get ready to launch our product line. Had I been in a hurry and just ran into the shop to get my muffin, I would never have had my ‘Ah-Ha’ color moment…

Complimentary Stone & Metal

Natural materials like stone, ceramics, slate & granite fill our homes and offices. The first spots that come to my mind are fireplaces, kitchens & baths. We seem to be putting more and more of these natural materials on our walls than ever before. How can we resist? They are not only beautiful but also durable and long lasting.

signs that inspire rock wall metal wall art
Pebble Creek Ski area, Inkom ID

Have you ever wondered though, “What can I hang on the wall now that it’s covered in stone?” Many people struggle with how to decorate over materials like this. One hesitation is the thought of nailing or drilling into it to hang something up. It’s a little scary when you think about it. What if you pick the wrong spot or change your mind?!

Mosaic tiles are so fun whether they come on sheets or you get creative and make your own from rocks, tiles or whatever else you come up with. When I walked past this sign at Pebble Creek, on my way to a killer day of snowboarding, I had to pull out the camera. Wow! Look at all those individually hand-laid stones. So many colors and shapes… it was memorizing! As I stood there admiring someone’s hard work, the sign popped out at me as a great example of hanging a cool metal art piece on a wall like this in your house. The simplicity of the art allows the stones to shine through and accentuate the image laid upon the rock masterpiece. I can’t think of any space that this concept of metal & stone would not look amazing!

Signs that inspire

Whether it’s your daily travels or a road trip of your own, slow down and really absorb the information around you. Signs that inspire are all around us! The next time you drive to the grocery store, what do you see? I bet in the course of a day, you can find several inspiring signs that you’d never noticed before. Happy ‘Sign’ hunting. Share with us what you discover in your travels.

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