Phil Vandervaart – Sign Painter


Objectives: From The Hard Times Cafe to The Fitzgerald Theater, the Twin Cities’ landscape is marked by the hand of an iconic sign painter. Learn the technique, skill and craft behind the hand-painted signs of Phil Vandervaart.

Tools/Resources: Colored pencils, markers and paper.


1) Watch the segment and discuss:

a. How has Phil Vandervaart put his stamp on his community?

2) Break off into groups and choose a local business you enjoy.

a. Make a list of things that make the business unique.
b. What words come to mind when you think of the business?
c. Discuss different symbols and color combinations that would best represent the business.

3) Design your own sign for the business.

a. Focus on making sure it’s clear who the sign is for.
b. How does it reflect the business and community at large?

To Top