We assembled the Walthers Cornerstone “Lakeside Shipping” 933-3084 kit as two separate buildings on the History Museum layout. Only one problem – the roof of the warehouse section had a notch out of it to fit the other building in this kit. Trying to match and patch the roof would take time and materials that didn’t come with the kit. Creating a whole new roof was a possibility, but again required more time and materials. The easiest solution would be to fit something else in the notch – and we added a sign.
Many different programs may be used to create building signs. Word processors, such as Microsoft Word, are an obvious choice since they are designed to format and print lettering well. Shapes, objects and lettering may be easily combined in Microsoft PowerPoint. However, the easiest method for the sign we wanted here (which combined lettering and scanned graphics) would be to use drawing (Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw) or photo editing (Adobe Photoshop or Corel Paint Shop Pro) software. Of these, Paint Shop Pro is the least expensive, and made quick work of this project.
High quality color printing is usually done at 300 dpi (dots per inch), so for the four-inch wide sign we wanted for this building, I first made a new drawing with a black background 1,200 pixels wide by 375 pixels high (4 inches times 300 dpi = 1,200 pixels). I then placed grey and black rectangles on top of the background to create the grey frame.
An old, chipped REA plaque was scanned to make the logo graphics. The Paint Shop Pro “background eraser tool” was used to remove the background from the scanned logo – leaving just the logo with a transparent background. It was resized and placed on one end of the sign. A copy of the logo was placed on the other end. Finally, lettering was added in an era-appropriate font, Copperplate Gothic Bold.
Printed in color and glued to a painted plastic rectangle for support, the sign looks great on the new Broadway Freight House.
Tip: Corel usually directly sells Paint Shop Pro at a discount around the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Add yourself to their mailing list and wait for the best price at Thanksgiving.