old fence signs in a shed
This collection of old fence signs says a lot about marketing back in the day, and working within its limitations. Compared to today, it feels like marketing in slow motion.

Working with the Space Available

Size is paramount in design. What are the dimensions of my ad, brochure, or website? The sizes of these signs match those of your average fence board or slat. You can’t fit much into that size, and you only had the ONE chance as a driver swept by.

Aesthetics and Color

Mounting these on existing fences was a bit risky, as landowners are sensitive to their farms’ appearance. You’d think you could compensate for the small size with color, but stark, bright colors wouldn’t be welcome.

Call to Action

Adding a phone number was a must back in the day. But what were the chances that drivers going past could even read the number? You could try to mount them on a fence near a curve in the road, hoping drivers would be slowing down anyway.

Grabbing Attention

Given the limitations, using a unique company name increased the chances your sign would be remembered, and humor got you some more points: “Fence Me In”, “Hurricane”, and “Hercules” — the rest are forgettable.

In those slower times, drivers couldn’t click, copy, paste or call from the car. Whoosh! and your prospective customer was miles down the road, wondering “Does my fence need fixing, and what was that number?”