Third Annual Made in the South Awards

by Vanessa Gregory, Elizabeth Hutchison and T. Edward Nickens - December 2012/January 2013

Dixie's best in Home, Style + Design, Outdoors, and Food

Winner: Style + Design Category

Sign Co.
Product: Marquee Signs
Made in: Nashville, TN
Est.: 2012

At six feet seven inches tall, Nashville-based graphic designer Luke Stockdale felt understandably confined sitting behind a desk all day. In early 2012, he traded his cramped cubicle for a converted garage studio where he could spread out and create the kind of large-scale, vintage-inspired signs he’d been envisioning. Made of salvaged wood and bent steel, each of Stockdale’s light-up marquee signs is wired, weathered, and built by hand. “I start with a typeface and then play around with it a bit,” Stockdale says. “I might add a spur or stretch it out. Then I try to picture what that sign might go through over a sixty-year life.” To achieve lettering that looks straight off a fifties-era Broadway billboard, Stockdale carefully distresses each piece using handmade tools of his design. Cautious not to overdo it, he creates work with the authenticity and soul of a period original. And with names such as Nike on Sideshow’s client list, it’s clear his efforts haven’t gone unnoticed.

Price: From $380,