It’s easy to forget, in this age of digital graphics, large-format printers, and computerized plotters, that in ages past the only practical means for making signs was good old-fashioned paint. Many of the signs posted along the roadside through the mid-20th century were painted by hand. When a state highway department wanted to make a statement by creating a large, colorful welcome sign, an artist (or a team of them!) would be employed to make the sign a reality. Signs of billboard size were much closer to murals than they are modern-day signs.
One such sign was the “Welcome to Arizona, the Grand Canyon State” sign installed at the state lines in the 1950s. These huge signs consisted of a painting shows a range of the landscapes Arizona has to offer. The mountains, the pine forests, and the deserts (complete with saguaro cactus) all make an appearance.
We’ve brought this big, billboard-size sign back to life for your enjoyment in the modern day! Our Welcome to Arizona, the Grand Canyon State sign is a faithful replica of the original sign, made from a slide taken back in the 1950s. The original signs have long since been taken down and, as far as we know, did not survive to the present day. (Their bulkiness and wooden construction meant that storing them long-term wasn’t practical.) Just tracking down the slide we used as reference took quite a bit more doing than usual for us. This one is a real lost gem!
Our Welcome to Arizona, the Grand Canyon State sign is printed on heavy 14-gauge steel, far more durable than the original. Its glossy, non-reflective finish will hold up for years anywhere you install it, whether that’s inside or out in the desert sun. We’ve scaled it down to a range of sizes more practical for use as a display piece, from 16 in. × 8 in. all the way up to 72 in. × 36 in. Convenient mounting holes are pre-drilled in every sign we sell. (We can help you get this sign in a size not listed here, or the welcome sign of your choice from any of the 49 other states! Just contact Jake to get started on your custom order.)