Hand-painted signs have more or less become a thing of the past, replaced by press-printed, illuminated signs, digital signboards, and the like. Designed on computers for stylistic perfection, modern-day commercial graphics are so ubiquitous that we barely notice them. But there was a time when businesses required, not computer-based design skills, but skills with a paintbrush to broadcast their services to passersby.
Remnants of this commercial history are all over the city, on the facades of old buildings downtown, on Whyte, and any other part of the city that was built before World War II. They are fading reminders of a time when many commercial products were made locally, and when every transaction was a personal one.
All photographs by Edmonton photographer Coinoath (Ken) Sarsfield.