Determining the colors of historic buildings, and their signs, can be incredibly difficult. All too often the resources available are limited to black and white photographs, colorized postcards that were limited by the printer’s selection of inks, and less than pristine paint samples discovered during preservation projects. To supplement these resources, it is necessary to engage in primary source research of historic paint manuals to determine the colors available during the period. One of these books, pictured in this blog post was first published in 1884 and lists just some of the wide varieties of paint colors available through mixing natural pigments. Some of these pigments include colors like Venetian Red, Ultramarine Blue, Quaker Green, and Chrome Yellow. When put with liquids such as linseed oil, Japan dryer, and turpentine, pigments like these contributed to making paints that could be mixed into a range of vibrant colors. Through our research of paint books and sign painting manuals from the 1840’s to the 1920’s, Storefont can provide expert recommendations for colors to be used with our sign kits and fonts that will help your sign (and business) stand out, and complement the historic buildings of a downtown neighborhood to create a unique sense of place for potential customers to shop, dine, and experience!