Saskatoon sign smith donating time to paint iconic 7-Up sign

September 9, 2013 - 11:18am
Notorious 525 20th Street West in Saskatoon. Courtesy Stewart Property Holdings.
Notorious 525 20th Street West in Saskatoon. Courtesy Stewart Property Holdings.

A Saskatoon sign expert will finally get to paint his dream sign.

The SignSmith sits just a couple businesses down from the apartment building nicknamed the "Notorious 525" on 20th Street West. The apartment also holds a giant 7-Up advertisement that was painted decades ago.

"It's so prominent on 20th Street," Dave Smith, owner of The SignSmith, said.

"I've always wanted to paint something like that because it's in great shape it's just that the paint has faded. All it needs is a new top coat of paint and it will look brand new."

Smith started working with signs in 1976 and started to paint signs on his own in 1983.

"I love what I do. I love to paint outdoor signs. The last one I did was the Great West(ern) Brewery," Smith said.

In the sign smith profession, older signs painted in the 30s and 40s are called ghost signs. Smith explained that he usually likes when they are faded and aged but the 7-Up sign needed a touch-up.

"Some of them look great that way but this one got tagged along the bottom, about four feet along the bottom and it kind of ruined it," he said.

The sign had been staring down over his shop for years but Smith couldn't fix it until now. He was unable to get on the adjacent roof and the previous owner had no interest in pursuing other options.

Now that Stewart Properties purchased the "Notorious 525" and is renovating the building Smith finally has his opportunity to work on his dream sign.

"They are going to get me a lift," he said, explaining that it will hang from the roof of the apartment building.

He said for someone who works with signs for a living this is an amazing opportunity and so Smith decided to donate his time.

"I love vintage signs and stuff I am a big fan. To bring one back to life is pretty special," he said.

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