Ironknuckles ... cool images inside


When I started Solid Signs to put it bluntly, was because where I was working became about pumping out cookie-cutter shit and it appeared the whole industry was going that same way(many years ago).

I wanted to use my skills and ideas to make "Cool Shit".To have a business that enables me to add my artistic skills, design ideas & marketing knowledge to the project.
To have a Sign Shop which wasn't run like a factory and to give myself the time to think creatively in a space free to explore and execute on those ideas.

Its nice now after 3.5 years of putting in extra hours and care, delivering designs and signage that has a purpose to the customer and relevant to their market.  Hearing comments from clients and strangers who have seen my work and give compliments on the job and details is rewarding.

I'm going to highlight a collection of signage I've done for one group in particular.  As its been a breathe of fresh air to work on these guys projects. This is the stuff the modern "signmakers" would not touch, as its not "easy money".  Who cares! I'm doing it for the love of creating coolness!


helmet wrap
handpainted sawblade

If you have had work done by myself feel free to leave a review wherever you please!



Locky Naef
Backbone of Solid Signs + El Studio

Lets Talk About Shopfront Signs !

So your about to start a business and thinking about your shopfront?

A big part of what we do is help start-ups and those in need of a re-brand get the most out of their Shopfront signage. From design, manufacture to install.

Colour choices are endless, Style options ranging from the modern 3d, and light-up letters, vinyl, print and the classic hand painted with traditional appeal.
Placement of logos can be big and bold or subtle to flaunt elegance and class.
The style you go with may determain alone who your clientele is going to be attracting the attention of a particular eyeball.
There is a lot to consider and its a tough call knowing where to begin to go in the right direction. That is where our skill, passion, background and knowledge is your going to be handy, very handy.

Where to start?

Being trade qualified we have surely done it all. Working with many local start-ups to design and install there shopfront signage as a crucial part of the branding. Appreciative and skilled in the old ways and equipped with all the modern gear. We got options, options, options!

Where we begin, digital shopfront colour selection.

Where we begin, digital shopfront colour selection.

Design with purpose!

It all starts with a blank canvas, then colour choices, signage styles through to signage placement locations.

Its about getting the desired impact of your markets attention through your choices of signs that will give off those good vibes man!

Small with ohhh power

Small with ohhh power



Its not always the biggest who get attention, it's those who take the time to think with extra consideration to what appeals to their niche market that make a difference. Get the eyeballs and become the new top dog.


If your interested to know more about benefits of having your shopfront designed or re-branded (moving it out of the 90's, that was 17 years ago man! ).
Want to poke some eyeballs out. Then Increased attention tp shopfront design to appeal fto your customers is paramount in shopfront design.

Start ups

We know its competitive and are here to help you get established with impact.
(Or the cliche "standout from the crowd")
Your future success is our mission and awesome signs for you is an awesome sign for us too.
(pun intended)


For those considering a re-brand. There is always potential and benefits in freshening up your brand to appeal to modern tastebuds and gather a new generation of customers.  Investing in your business signage can create huge potential and welcome new customers

To see our clients still killing it in years to come is our purpose!

Get in Contact


ABOVE, A range of projects we have had the pleasure of working with.

Locky Naef
Owner / designer / worker (everything) of Solid Signs

AWESOME signs trumps MORE signs anyday.

Without Awesome Signage some customers may not ever enter your store, it's true. You may be missing out on clients with that boring faded shopfront and sign pollution. Didn't anyone else just have a cold shivver?
A bad Type/font choice can be enough to turn a potential customer away and definitely a Typography snob hipster will not be walking in the door.

When it comes to using your Signwriting dollars wisely as a start-up, re-brand or re-re-brand.
Consider the power of having LESS signage, opting for AWESOME Signage with the greater purpose of appeal and relevance to your niche or target market.
Throwing you name over 10 roadside banners is not a powerful as investing your Advertising/Signage budget into amazing signage for your business or brand. That is designed and branded to your market and future clients.

Its often the funky & amazing looking shops which are the ones we find ourselves inside puzzled. "This place is so cool" Even when we don't intend on a purchase, and sometimes feeling obliged to buy something.
The vibe of the exterior alone "zzrrrttt! like a tractor beam sucked me right in" regardless of what they sell.

That is the real missions of why we do signage the way we do.
An awesome sign for you that works, in return is a good sign for us.

EXAMPLE: The Berry Donut Van.
If you have ever seen the traffic jams and people running across the road just for these donuts. You are the witness to the Pull Power of those Neons. I don't even eat donuts, but I drove past this place 4 times to admire those signs.  Even witnessed a entire wedding party lined up.

The Berry Donut van through the years. Driving people nuts, without selling nuts

The Berry Donut van through the years. Driving people nuts, without selling nuts

$$$ Dollars, everyone thinks of the dollar and budget is important.  And that is our intent.  To give greater value to every business by making smarter advertising decisions in terms of design and final product. There is a lot of sharks in this industry whom will push the a-frames, 5 flags and 17 banners (all which are items that fall apart in 12 months). They are easy to produce with no skill needed, hold little street cred and before you know it a big waste of funds on signs that wont last 12 months or survive through a slight breeze.
Investing $$$ in better signage is on par with having more signage. Its the long term savings, not having to update in 12 months or replace signs down the track.

Not our work, Signwriter unknown

Not our work, Signwriter unknown

Let Better signage do its thing and you may not need print, radio or other advertising.

The buzz and word of mouth is of greater value alone. And its FREE ! ! !
Let your signage do the talking so you don't have to, and you can focus on all those customers pouring inside and rely on the signage to get clients in the door.

Not our work, Signwriter unknown

Not our work, Signwriter unknown

Old signage skills are on the comeback. Local and independent start ups are taking advantage of this as an edge over the corporation competitors.
Excessive signage (flags and shit) is NOT needed when you shop simply looks DOPE (had to say it).

This all reminds me of this guy many years back who won the World Barista Comp, buy selling the taste of the coffee to the judges over the actual product being good. Having the judges wrapped around his fingers with words only. Those donuts could be normal donuts, but their signage says the greatest damn donuts EVER and I'm going to eat it up!

Let the awesome signage get clients in the door.



5 Signwriter instagrams you need to see!

Dave Smith
The Grand Master Flash of glass gilding and be sure to check out the short film about his work with John Mayor.



Pocket design
Aussie man killing it with the diverse brush skills of all styles.
Shares his skills with workshops down on the central coast.


Dobell Brothers
More classic brush work, But totally worth watching for all the old school sign history they dig up.




Timber Sign
These guys to me have nailed that balance of traditional Sign-craftsmanship with modern technology.



Copenhagen Signs
Endless styles of lettering on the brush.

And has a sweet bike.

Check em out!



And we are in there somewhere trying to keep up.




Get your Christmas Campaign on ! ! !

Need help this year getting the Christmas Shoppers to know what your selling on the inside?

Hit the market where they are, the streets!

One promo or a campaign for a series of promos for the Christmas count down. We can help with the campaign management, design, install and cleanup when its all over.

All promo material can be custom designed to your brief, business branding or specific to a product. Nothing run of the mill!

With creative marketing and some wild ideas. We are sure to catch some attention and get those customers in the doors.

 - Fun Fact -
The Mary & Me sale windows that you have seen, Solid Signs is where it all comes from.

Below is a selection of sale windows we have worked on throughout 2016

Handpainted Signs - we still got it!

Along with all the "New School" Sign things we do, we are also trained and still work the "Old School" brush styles. We consider ourselves as a rarity in the modern Sign game as we have retained the old hand-painted Sign skills while still killing the new print/wrap era.

Bossman on the brushes. Hand painting signs in the Solid Signs workshop.

Bossman on the brushes. Hand painting signs in the Solid Signs workshop.

Being in the Signage Industry we believe its incredibly important to appreciate and embrace where the industry has come from and use that in modern day to be progressive.

Branding tip.
Make every job out do your previous. It will become the most valuable & free advertising you will ever have.

Below is a collection of Signs we painted over the past 3 weeks, with one job leading to another. A nice change of pace from sitting at a computer and operating machines.

Locky Naef - Owner and everything- Solid Signs

Signwriting has a deep and interesting history with some creative and interesting characters. Here is one of them below!



Vehicle signage & Does my business need it ?


Its overdue that we put together some advice on vehicle signage for you hard working business owners out there.

Being in the business for 10 years now, you could say we have done a load of signage on vehicles. We have seen by now what works and doesn't.
The advantages of owning a Marketing + Design (plug) and being a Signwriter is we can advise spending your advertising dollars wisely through those avenues which give the greater return value.
Nobody wants to throw their dollars in the drain on bad flags, we mean bad advertising.

Does my business need Vehicle Signs?

In 75% of cases the answer is a definite YES!
The scale and budget you should focus is variable. We will get to that later.

If you spend large amounts of your days on the road, doing deliveries or like us jobs come quick and get turned out quick leaving you to look or wait for the next. Get your name on your vehicles so while you are parked onsite or driving to get the morning coffee let your car signage do the talking.

Vehicle signs-01.jpg

Next time you're stuck in traffic look at the cars around you. Now think of them as all opportunistic potential customers.
If you don't have your branding on your vehicle look at all those potential clients your missing, DAILY!


Focus on Car Signs or Shopfront Signs?

Do more potential customers drive past your shopfront during a day or do you drive past more potential customers on the daily commute?

The answer will determine where to focus your dollars.
For some it can be 50-50 split. But for most there will be a clear imbalance.

Answered SHOPFRONT = Vehicle signage is less important. This may be the case with a lot of retail stores with heavy foot-traffic. You vehicle signage only needs to be minimal but not an avenue to forget completely. Focus your budget for shopfront, point of sale signage or targeted online marketing campaigns.

Answered DAILY COMMUTE = This may be the case for many trade based businesses,work from home or IT workers.
Your shopfront may be a dirty shed in a back alley or not even exist. So advertising on your Vehicle is of higher importance. See this as your biggest selling point. Your shopfront purely as a location to be marked and found. Focus your advertising on where it is seen and put more into it.
Park your vehicle near a busier road. When shopping, take the parking spots closest to the passing traffic.


Design of car signage is where you will win over the guy with Joe Plumber in Arial. Blog post pending, check back soon.





Dubbo Bowl Jam - 24th september 2016 -

Super stoked to be supporting the Dubbo Bowl Jam.
Being a BMX rider and enthusiast (whom unfortunately isn't favored with much time to ride) I'm an advocate for getting kids into BMX and skateboarding. If you have a child who doesn't enjoy team sports or spends to much time indoors, GET THEM A BIKE.

Their is no pressure to win & no soccer mums.

We hooked up the local riders with all the promo gear. Banners, Posters & Decals.
And an awesome illustration of the park created by our brother business EL STUDIO

Thanks to Colony & Division for supporting the Event

To some local shops.
Thanks for NOT taking the opportunity to support all riders in your community.

Posters no timetable.jpg

Custom Cut-throat razor

Just before Christmas, a existing Signage client of ours came forth with a request for a unique gift idea after seeing some of our skills outside of signwriting.
We came up with a concept for a hand carved cut-throat razor.

Damascus steel blade & laser etched logo (forged in London)

Hand carved Wooden handle and base-plate.

I have to admit, once this was completed it was hard to let it go.


Solid Signs 1 year in business.

Goal #1 Completed.

21st July last year I got the keys to the work-shed.  Since then I've had the pleasure of meeting and working for great local businesses who really care about quality signage and how their business is portrayed.
Working for yourself is a definite change in mindset.  The clock gets thrown out as 12 hour days become normal, thinking all night over designs and nagging the wife with all my crazy sign ideas.  And the added challenge of trying to nab that niche market in the local sign industry.

I started Solid Signs as I saw the local scene was just a quick fix of signage.  Imagination and the creative side of the sign industry is being forgotten, it become so stale with the digital print era taking over.  Anybody can make a sign, that is the easy part. Not everybody can make that sign look good and fit its purpose.  Designed to catch the target market for the business clientele.  Every sign should look awesome or it's money down the drain, no signage should be seen as a quick throw up and see what happens. 

This is something I've tried to portray through my business and approach to signage, to fully explore the ideas of what could be done before jumping in.  If it takes a week to think over and achieve a better outcome.  Do it ! Then everyone wins.

Getting to work with all the young start-ups of the area, giving their business a fair crack and to meet guys who appreciate and understand the importance of something as simple as a business vehicle or shopfront being of high importance, their best advertising asset. With plenty of competition in the area you have to do what you can to be individual, to stand out.  And I'm so glad I get to work in this industry and work with those who appreciate it being done well.

To then see those businesses take off, employ new staff, expand and become regulars to Solid Signs.  It's a sign I'm doing things right by the customers. (no pun intended)

Since being in business for myself, I've come to realize new things about signwriting.

Firstly, I don't have a hard businessmen attitude. Im a signwriter first, not a business man. Or as a customer recently put it "you don't just make signs, you create signs"

Secondly, that a Signwriter has more influence over a towns vibe then they realize.  It's not nice to stop in a town where every second business has signs which are peeling, faded, crooked and designed in the 90's.  Every business around it gets dragged down.
But to be in a place where everything is clean, straight, well design and has its own identity gives a good feeling to the area.  A Signwriter may have more influence then the local town planner.

People out there are looking for new ideas, and to expect all clients have been on the internet and done their research, seen what can be done and that you should deliver and exceed those expectations.
The signage / advertising / marketing industry moves fast.  What people want to see visually changes frequently and you do have to keep an eye on whats hip and happening, whats back in style and be on top of it!

Business's underestimate the importance of the Shopfront.
Bluntly, if the front looks like a dud, nobody's coming in.  You can put all your effort into the interior, but you really want to stop cars and invite people in.  An awesome and well designed shopfront should be seen as a more important part of the business.
A good shopfront gets people in, that is my job.  Give them a good experience and product inside and your business is a winner.  Don't be afraid to do something different, in the right place gimmicks work.

When a business is bad most people call their accountant to find a solution, where can they cut some financial corners.  Your signwriter should be called before the accountant.  A small investment in some advertising and a facelift may not seem the best way to save you money in the beginning, but it will boost your turnover and re-lift your business to what it once was.
If the guy down the road just stole all your customers.  The accountant wont save you, but your good signwriter might!

So 12 months has past.  This now entitles me to Throwback Thursdays.  There will be a few expansions to the business coming soon.  The display area is being re-done, hard to let that painstaking chalk-work be wiped.  Things are due for a new look once a year I believe.
More excitingly, I will now begin working on the second business venture.  An additional service Solid Signs will be providing!

I will elaborate on the changes in the coming months.

Thanks from Locky, to all the businesses who have used Solid Signs in the past year.  Looking forward to creating and working on new things in the future!




A complete new look - Orchard's Automotive

The guys at Orchard's Automotive Contacted Solid Signs unhappy with their current look, Looking to Re-brand whilst moving to a new workshop. Perfect time to give the business an overhaul. Boy did it turn out awesome.

  • Logo design has a throwback to the old school garage style, with a modern twist.
  • Embossed business cards.
  • Matte black and Gloss Colour combinations.
  • 3d Hanging sign.
  • Custom designed/illustrated Engine graphic.
  • A-frame re-skin

Click the image to view

Robbie Cook Auto Electrical Dubbo Logo Design

Solid Signs was asked by the boys at Robbie Cook Auto Electrical to design a new, retro & not too over powering logo to go with their relocation to a new store.
And boy were they pleased.

If your looking to update your look & your brand appearance to gain the attention of a new market, contact Solid Signs for a Professionally Designed LOGO.
Along with being able to provided all your marketing and advertising material. Going to Solid Signs to get the complete package, will not only save you time and money.
Get the look, branding & signage your business deserves.

We cut no corners here at Solid Signs, with all design and concepts being completely unique and tailored to you and your business's personality.

EMS Concept Design & Install

EMS, have expanded into a larger premises in Dubbo.
Solid Signs was approached for concept design, manufacture and installation work of the Signwriting components. With some more additions to the workshop shed area to come.

Below are a few images of the New EMS Shed, what it used to look like and the process.

Click the image to view more

Black Gate Distillery

Just Finshed up making the Roadside sign for Black Gate Distillery out at the old stomping ground of Mendooran. If your passing through Mendooran, and you should.
And your one who likes the taste of high quality spirits from local grains and fruits. 72 Forest Road is where you will find them. Look for this sign!
Also you should consider taking advantage of Mendooran FREE camping grounds. One of a few FREE camping areas in the country which is very spacious, shaded by some big gumtrees and surrounded by fishing holes on the river. Chill-lax for days.

Love the look of this sign, combination of matte black and gloss vinyl.
With a open/closed slider.

Click image to see more.


Santa was good to Solid Signs this year.

So I'm pretty big on sketching ideas and images and have piles of books of sketches boxed away collecting dust. But now with this handy little gadget, I sketch right into my design software and can make a finish product much quicker and cleaner. No more pencil sketch / scan / pentool = long process.
Initially I found this gadget quiet hard to get used to as the pad area is set out in absolute mode, as in where you touch your pen tip is matched to the area of the desktop. Its not as simple as swipping your mouse 5 times in small movements to get from one side to the other. You have to draw the whole way across. It took some time and frustration, but now ive got my head around the concept. It feels more true to real sketching. And i was up until 2am many nights amazed at the capabilities of this gadget.
To see what the gadget is im talking about check out
Its become one of those things instantly, Why did i wait so long to try this!
If your a visual Artist or a graphic designer and you have never tried a Wacom pad, I strongly recommend it.

I'm currently going to be working on some graphics I've been asked to create for various projects which are in need of true one of a kind artworks, no more Google, no more long draw out processes. Very excited!

Below is some sample images of the first image I created for a new car wrap. 0nly have a small amount of shadow touches left to make with this image.