Businesses Put Their Image in the Hands of Taylormade Signs


Photo Karen Graham.
Pat Taylor creates original, hand-painted signs for businesses, farms homes, and cottages such as this shimmering sign introducing the newest village restaurant.

Photo Karen Graham.

You may not recognize Pat Taylor of Taylormade Signs, but you will certainly recognize her work.  For more than 30 years, she has been designing and creating custom carved and hand-painted signs that are works of art used by local businesses to present their face to the public.  It’s a key element in their image, as the sign is their first foot forward into the world of potential customers, and Pat takes that responsibility very seriously.

As she wanders down the streets of the area in her mind, she lists off the signs she has created -Oasis Boutique, Bethany Hills Interiors, Under the Sun Trailers, Staples Maple Syrup, St. Thomas More Catholic Church, and Benson’s Funeral Home, among many others.  She also created three-dimensional signs for the township that were replaced with the new branding effort a few years ago.  Many familiar signs in Peterborough are also Pat’s creations, including those introducing Jim’s Pizzeria and the New Canadians Centre.

In addition to commercial work, Pat also creates custom signs for homes, farms and cottages.  Flat signs are prepared on laminated wood boards, whereas the three-dimensional ones are carved on high-density urethane foam embellished with hand-painted images from original photos and high gloss carved letters.  The signs are works of art in themselves: there are no digital prints used and only the occasional vinyl lettering for small applications.  Most surprising is the use of gold leaf in her creations.  Pat explains that gold paint turns brown when exposed to the elements, whereas gold gilding retains its shimmer.  The gold in her signs is 23 karat gold leaf sheets meticulously applied.  The sign for the new restaurant Moody’s is a prime example of the power of gold leaf on a sign.  While it can be expensive, it lasts virtually forever.

Taylormade services also include vehicle and boat lettering and signage, such as those featured on Doyle Plumbing vehicles.

Many jobs these days come to the firm electronically.  Pat doesn’t mind not meeting all of her customers.  She keeps her overhead low by operating out of a shop she has developed in a building behind her home on Main Street across from the Fair grounds.  When she purchased the home in 1982, as the price was right and it had space to accommodate a few horses.  These days the horses have been replaced with dogs.  Though her husband has now retired, Pat is not considering that route at the moment.  Operating independently with no staff responsibilities, she can take on as much or as little work as she would like, allowing her the freedom to take the occasional trip out west or to France where she grew up.  Her sister recently relocated there, so there’s always a place to stay.

If you are looking for a way to distinguish your business, farm or cottage, Pat can take your sign idea and deliver the whole package from design to delivery.  For more information, visit her website at, or wander down Main Street.  You will see a sign.  KG

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