As the home sign tradition continues to explode, one of the most popular choices is the "rustic" style of sign. Rustic signs are crafted from wood or stone, and have an "unfinished" or "rough" look about them. Since the customer often gets to choose their own lettering style in the creation of their home sign, the font may be similar to handwriting, graffiti, or carved alphanumeric symbols. A home sign of this sort is usually either painted or left plain, and in the case of wood, may come with a clear varnish, oil finish, or colored stain to protect it from the elements.
The rustic home sign reflects an idealized vision of 'living off the land', and their popularity may reflect the fact that many people are currently moving into rural areas to benefit from the lower cost of living. While the inhabitants of rural areas are probably much more skilled at creating a home sign for themselves than the "rustic" type of home sign demonstrates, this whimsical portrayal of the "simple life" has taken hold over many people's imaginations, leading them to design and create a rustic home sign for themselves.
"Rustic" is defined as "charmingly simple or unsophisticated", as well as "made of unfinished or roughly finished wood", both of which may apply to a rustic home sign. The goal, in creating a rustic home sign, is to craft something that is not disparaging to rural people as a whole but celebratory of the simple and uncomplicated life they live, in comparison to their friends from the city.
A rustic house sign is meant to be a mark of pride in their rural home. Interestingly, the people most likely to purchase a rustic home sign are those who are leaving the city and moving to the countryside. People who have lived their entire lives in a rural area are often unable to appreciate its benefits in comparison to a hectic and occasionally dangerous city life.
A rustic sign of stone is often either a boulder placed in the yard at the foot of the drive, or a simple slate or granite 'board', with letters and numerals as the customer ordered. Stone signs are not as popular as the wooden variety, but they are much sturdier and longer-lasting, whether painted or laser-engraved.
Wooden rustic house number plaques offer a much greater variety. They may have rough edges, or be sanded smooth; they may be unfinished, or painted and varnished. A wooden rustic home sign could sport lettering that makes it appear handmade without much skill, or it may have carefully carved lettering that obviously took forethought and effort. All of these choices are up to the customer when ordering their home sign.
When you move to a rural area, consider your house number sign options carefully. An overly elegant or decorated home sign might appear out of balance with the surroundings, yet an intentionally overdone 'rustic' sign might give visitors the wrong impression. Choose a style and materials that suit your family, not just the surroundings of the family home.
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