Thinking of ordering a sign? See below for steps to ordering and some frequently asked questions.


1. Contact New Bohemia Signs with scope of work.
2. We'll provide you with a bid.
3. If bid is accepted we need a 50% deposit and any art files, Pantone colors, or other aides you'd like us to have. Once we have the deposit we can schedule the work.
4. We get started!


1. What do you need to get me a bid (price)?

-Sign dimensions
-Single or double sided?
-How many colors we need to match (you can provide examples, or we use the Pantone coated book for reference)
-If we need to paint a logo, a jpg logo file or even a crude drawing will help
-The exact text copy
-Font name, if you need us to match a particular font.
-Your desires regarding effects on fonts (such as shadows or outlines).
-If we are painting directly on a wall, then we need to know the wall surface (i.e., smooth drywall or rough stucco). We may have to visit the location to determine "how rough", unless you can provide detailed photos.

2. How do you price your signs?

Detail is more of an issue than size. We estimate our time for painting, design, construction, and how many colors we need to match; then, figure in material costs, and travel (if we're working on location).

Single color letters with no effects are the quickest to paint. Drop shadows usually take about half as much time as painting the original letters, and outlines close to the same amount of time. So, if we are painting a line of text that takes us an hour, with outlines it would take 2 hours. If we are painting an hour long line of text with just drop shadows, then painting time would be 1.5 hours.

3. Can you work with a budget?

Yes, we actually prefer to work within budgets, especially if we are designing. So if someone wants to spend $400 versus someone who wants to spend $1,600 we can design accordingly.

4. I would like to provide you artwork for the sign, what do you need from me?

The dimensions of the sign. If your design is in digital format we'd like the artwork as a vectorized file (.eps or .ai work nicely), to the exact sign dimensions, with all the type "outlined". But we can work from detailed, scale drawings as well. If the sign is very large, such as wall lettering, then the art should be to a 1 inch = 1 foot scale.

5. Can you match colors?

Yes. We can use the Pantone coated chart for reference, or whatever examples, or paint chips you can provide. We mix by hand and eye, and we can get very close to your Pantone color choices, but we can't promise scientific precision! We use the actual printed Pantone book as reference, as trying to communicate colors across computer screens is a useless endeavor. If you don't have a Pantone book you can look at ours.

6. I want New Bohemia to design my sign, what do you need from me?

You can bring visual references into our shop, or email us jpg's of designs you like. We'd like to know what colors you do and don't want in the design. Patience is important as the back and forth design process can take time. We'll do all we can to encourage you to describe to us exactly what you want your sign to look like -- because then, you're more likely to get it.

7. What materials do you paint on?

We usually paint our signs on MDO or DiBond. MDO is a plywood, made for sign-boards, bound with marine grade adhesives, and epoxy-sealed paper faces, for outdoor use. We seal the edges with an elastomeric sealant. For double-sided signs and A-frames we use 3/4" MDO and for single sided signs we use 1/2" MDO. DiBond is thin - about 1/8" - and is nylon sandwiched between two sheets of aluminum. We use MDO & DiBond as they are made for outdoor signage, and have smooth faces for our lettering quills.

We can also paint on most anything you bring in. We've painted on antique fireplace screens, bikes, airplane cowls, and plenty other surfaces, so just ask us what you have in mind.

8. I want my sign to be on reclaimed wood.

We rarely source reclaimed wood but can paint on it. Keep in mind that if the wood is raw that we'll have to seal underneath the lettering with a primer layer (unless the paint soaking into the wood, and spreading a bit, is an effect you're looking for) and that if the wood surface is rough the painting takes longer than on smooth MDO. We will take these factors into consideration when making a bid.

Building Resources in San Francisco and Urban Ore in Berkeley might have reclaimed wood.

9. How long does it take to get a sign?

Usually 3-4 weeks. We are typically booked up 2-3 weeks and actual sign production takes about a week. If you need a sign sooner ask and we might be able to move our schedule around.

10. What's the smallest lettering you can paint?

1/2" caps are about as small as we feel comfortable going. Truth is: we're not exactly calligraphers. Our tools and skills are tailored toward inscriptions somewhat larger than a notebook page. We're willing to attempt tinier work, but the imprecisions of our craft, which, at larger sizes might help to imbue a certain hand-crafted charm, tend, at smaller sizes, to devolve into...well, just imprecision.

11. I don't live in SF will you ship a sign?

Yes, we can ship you a sign. We'll box it up and charge you a nominal box & handling charge.

12. Will you make a vinyl sign?

No. If you are in San Francisco we recommend Budget Signs.

13. I have an interior-lighted sign. Can you paint it?

It's not a good idea to paint the translucent plexiglass faces of interior lighted signs(cans). When the sign is lighted from within the brushstrokes show too much and a flat field of color is not possible. We recommend you use vinyl for an interior lighted sign. We are willing to provide you with a design that you can find someone else to produce in vinyl.

14. Where can I find you?

We just recently moved! Our new address is 281 9th St. San Francisco, CA 94103.