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Mid-Century Modern Signs

MID-CENTURY MODERN STYLE

Organically shaped, clean-lined and elegantly simple are three terms that well describe vintage mid-century modern furniture. The style, which emerged primarily in the years following World War II, is characterized by pieces that were conceived and made in an energetic, optimistic spirit by creators who believed that good design was an essential part of good living.

ORIGINS OF MID-CENTURY MODERN FURNITURE DESIGN

CHARACTERISTICS OF MID-CENTURY MODERN FURNITURE DESIGN

MID-CENTURY MODERN FURNITURE DESIGNERS TO KNOW

ICONIC MID-CENTURY MODERN FURNITURE DESIGNS

VINTAGE MID-CENTURY MODERN FURNITURE ON 1STDIBS

The mid-century modern era saw leagues of postwar American architects and designers animated by new ideas and new technology. The lean, functionalist International-style architecture of Le Corbusier and Bauhaus eminences Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius had been promoted in the United States during the 1930s by Philip Johnson and others. New building techniques, such as “post-and-beam” construction, allowed the International-style schemes to be realized on a small scale in open-plan houses with long walls of glass.

Materials developed for wartime use became available for domestic goods and were incorporated into mid-century modern furniture designs. Charles and Ray Eames and Eero Saarinen, who had experimented extensively with molded plywood, eagerly embraced fiberglass for pieces such as the La Chaise and the Womb chair, respectively. 

Architect, writer and designer George Nelson created with his team shades for the Bubble lamp using a new translucent polymer skin and, as design director at Herman Miller, recruited the Eameses, Alexander Girard and others for projects at the legendary Michigan furniture manufacturer

Harry Bertoia and Isamu Noguchi devised chairs and tables built of wire mesh and wire struts. Materials were repurposed too: The Danish-born designer Jens Risom created a line of chairs using surplus parachute straps for webbed seats and backrests.

The Risom lounge chair was among the first pieces of furniture commissioned and produced by legendary manufacturer Knoll, a chief influencer in the rise of modern design in the United States, thanks to the work of Florence Knoll, the pioneering architect and designer who made the firm a leader in its field. The seating that Knoll created for office spaces — as well as pieces designed by Florence initially for commercial clients — soon became desirable for the home.

As the demand for casual, uncluttered furnishings grew, more mid-century furniture designers caught the spirit.

Classically oriented creators such as Edward Wormley, house designer for Dunbar Inc., offered such pieces as the sinuous Listen to Me chaise; the British expatriate T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings switched gears, creating items such as the tiered, biomorphic Mesa table. There were Young Turks such as Paul McCobb, who designed holistic groups of sleek, blond wood furniture, and Milo Baughman, who espoused a West Coast aesthetic in minimalist teak dining tables and lushly upholstered chairs and sofas with angular steel frames.

As the collection of vintage mid-century modern chairs, dressers, coffee tables and other furniture for the living room, dining room, bedroom and elsewhere on 1stDibs demonstrates, this period saw one of the most delightful and dramatic flowerings of creativity in design history.

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Style: Mid-Century Modern
1960s Tin Sign for Lemonade, Belgium
Located in Antwerp, BE
1960s tin sign for lemonade. A romantic and cute metal advertising sign for Lemonade. This old wall sign is dated 1961 and was made for the Belgian Company Leberg. Leberg started in 1933 with botteling water and lemonades. A man and a woman are having a date and are drinking a lemon and orange soft drink from a bottle with a straw. It does also make you think at lady and the tramp. This Vintage Tin Sign...
Category

Mid-20th Century Belgian Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Tin, Metal

1960 light up three feathers whiskey sign by Schenley
Located in Surrey, BC
A great mcm advertising working whiskey sign light up box . A great piece of advertising in original condition . Three Feathers Blended Whiskey is a v...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Metal

1950 watch repair light box sign
Located in Surrey, BC
A vintage all original advertising light box sign depicting watch repairs in faded original glass.. a nice addition to sign collector or watch dealers ....
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Metal

Vintage Art Deco Mid Century Oak and Glass Office Advertising Sign, C.1940
Located in London, GB
An unusual wooden and glazed office sign. c.1940 Reserve painted leaded glass office/advertising sign. Origins unknown, but great font and size.
Category

Mid-20th Century English Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Glass, Oak

Mid-20th Century Hardware Store Advertising Shop Display Oversized Nail
Located in London, GB
Mid-20th Century Hardware Store Advertising Shop Display Oversized Nail Every now and again we find something that’s a complete one off and just br...
Category

Mid-20th Century British Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Wrought Iron

Advertising Glass Sign "Trink Coca Cola - Eiskalt". 1950 - 1959
Located in CADALSO, ES
Great condition
Category

Mid-20th Century German Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Glass

Advertising Glass Sign "Trink Coca Cola - Coke". 1950 - 1959
Located in CADALSO, ES
Great condition
Category

Mid-20th Century German Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Glass

Advertising Mirror by Raymond Peynet for Atikah Cigaretten
Located in CADALSO, ES
Extremely rare to find.
Category

20th Century German Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Mirror

Large Illuminated Advertisement for HB cigarettes, 1970s
Located in Praha, CZ
Large wall advertisment light Good original condition with signs of use The top part is missing some plastic
Category

1970s Czech Vintage Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Iron

1950s Tin Advertising Sign for Belgian Beer Brasserie Maire
Located in Antwerp, BE
1950s Tin advertising sign for Belgian beer: Brasserie Maire - Speciale Luxem - Export Beer. An advertising sign with a great design for blond beer: ...
Category

Mid-20th Century Belgian Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Tin

Vintage neon propaganda from Steiff. 1960 - 1965
Located in CADALSO, ES
This object was only issued for Steiff dealers. Has never been sold to private persons
Category

1950s German Vintage Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Brass

1960s Myers's Rum Sign
Located in Antwerp, BE
1960s vintage advertising sign for Myers Rum Jamaica. Smiling very handsome man with blue eyes, hat, beard and moustache holding a bottle of Planters' Punch rum. This sign for Jamaican rum...
Category

Mid-20th Century Belgian Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Other

Early 20th Century Kodak Advertising Enamel Sign, English, For Train Rides
Located in Crespières, FR
This antique Kodak advertising sign is made of thick enamel in black, yellow and red colours. The colours are bright and shiny, with an good relief. The condition is fairly good co...
Category

1950s British Vintage Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Metal

Vintage Circa 1950s American Round Standard Air Lines Tin Metal Advertising Sign
Located in London, GB
A vintage circa 1950s circular enamelled tin metal advertising sign for Standard Air Lines. In worn vintage condition as illustrated in the images. In 1929 it merged with Western Ai...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Tin

Rare Mechanical Store Display "MOJUD" Stockings by Louis G. Audette & Company
By Displaymasters
Located in Buffalo, NY
Rare Mechanical Store Display advertising "MOJUD" Stockings by Louis G. Audette & Company ,New York City.. Amazing graphics.. Remarkable that this survived and remained intact,, Mote...
Category

1940s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Metal

Mid-20th Century Hand Painted Double Sided English Fairground Sign
Located in London, GB
Mid-20th Century Hand Painted Double Sided English Fairground Sign A genuine English mid-20th Century double sided hand painted fairground sign. Better Game, Better Sport, Better Tr...
Category

1950s British Vintage Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Plywood

Mid Century Royal Crown Cola Embossed Advertising Thermometer
By Royal Crown Cola Co.
Located in Cincinnati, OH
A metal lithographed Royal Crown Cola advertising thermometer with embossed bottle giving the piece some dimensional interest . An early produc...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Metal

Vintage Gin Sign with bartender and cocktailshaker , Netherlands
Located in Antwerp, BE
Vintage gin sign with bartender and cocktailshaker. An advertising sign - advertising display for Gin De Kuyper , Netherlands. This blue sign with a...
Category

Mid-20th Century Dutch Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Other, Tin

Vintage Neon Chemist Sign in a Perspex Box, 20th Century
Located in Faversham, GB
A commanding vintage neon chemist sign in a perspex box that reads ‘prescriptions’ once illuminated. Support chains are included on either side of the p...
Category

20th Century British Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Plastic, Acrylic, Fiberglass, Glass

Vintage Blue and White 'Hairdressing' Sign
Located in Cirencester, GB
This French 'Coiffure' sign is mid 20th century. The silvery/blue Zinc letters are on a painted white ply board. There are lots of bumps and scrapes and plenty of character to thi...
Category

Mid-20th Century French Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Zinc

1950’s Enamel and Neon Corner Sign Cafe
Located in Chicago, IL
1950’s enamel and neon corner Cafe sign. It has new transformer and wiring. Please note that there will be additional fee for making shipping crate.
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Enamel

“Giant” Scissors, Advertising Store Display
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Cast aluminum oversized scissors probably used for advertising and or store display. These will add interest to any room, wall, hair salon or fash...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Aluminum

Vintage Illuminated Nut Crackers
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Large signs plastic nut crackers. Set of two nut crackers, industrial plastic and illuminated sign from the Bullock department store in L.A.  
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Plastic

Amazing 1940s-50s Neon Sign "1 Hour Cleaners" Modernist / Art Deco
By American Neon Sign Co. 1
Located in Buffalo, NY
Wonderful vintage neon sign "ONE HOUR cleaner's"" Salvaged from old dry cleaners in downtown Buffalo NY,, Amazing colors,, design,, Hand delivery av...
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Metal

in Use, Vintage Hospital X-Ray Sign, circa 1980
Located in Faversham, GB
Vintage London hospital x-ray sign that hung above the x-ray room door of the inpatient ward. The words ‘In Use’ illuminate when switched on. London,...
Category

20th Century British Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Aluminum

Recycled Pine Wine Bar Menu, Black Board a Good Handsome Piece
Located in Chillerton, Isle of Wight
Recycled pine wine bar menu, black board A good handsome piece simply made with 4” old pine and waxed and polished The attractively bordered board is r...
Category

1960s Vintage Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Pine

Vintage Framed Print, Signed and Numbered
Located in Seattle, WA
Vintage framed print, signed and numbered Dimensions. 24 1/2 W ; 1 D ; 21 H.
Category

1970s Vintage Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Wood

SS United States Sign Notice and Information for Passengers
Located in Hanover, MA
Hefty enameled solid aluminum framed passenger safety and information sign from Passenger Stateroom 139 on the Main deck of the SS United States. Fo...
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Aluminum

Pair of Original Hand-Painted Wooden Fairground Signage, circa 1950s
Located in Faversham, GB
When in use, the panels were linked together with couplings to form an oval shape and the mechanics of the fairground ride would sit within the centre....
Category

20th Century British Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Paint, Wood

Charming Pair of Male and Female Toilet Signs
Located in Chillerton, Isle of Wight
A Charming pair of Male and Female Toilet Signs Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls no home should be without these, painted Quirky Cast Iron Loo signs ...
Category

Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Iron

1960s, Green & White Painted Steel 'Two Hour Parking' Street Sign
Located in Philadelphia, PA
A fine vintage traffic or street sign. With green text and border on a white ground. The text reads: 'TWO HOUR PARKING BETWEEN 7AM - 7PM SUND...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Steel

1961 Advertising Sign MARTINI BLANC , Apéritif Beverage
Located in Antwerp, BE
Vintage " MARTINI BLANC " or WHITE MARTINI Metal Advertising Sign. This Tin Sign has a gold colored metal frame, is mounted on Cardboard and dates from 1961. This Sign for the famous Italian Drink was made in Belgium for the Belgian Market by Etabl. J. Schuybroek S.A. Hoboken-Anvers ( Belgium ). It is in good but used condition. If you keep the sign in a certain angle to heavy light , you will see stains of teh old wrapping paper. Do view all our items , we do have a matching Rossi Sign...
Category

Mid-20th Century Belgian Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Tin, Other

Italian modern Wall light sign by Lane Marzotto in plastic and metal, 1990s
Located in MIlano, IT
Italian modern Wall light sign by Lane Marzotto in plastic and metal, 1990s Rectangular wall light sign with rounded corners. On the central pla...
Category

1990s Italian Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Metal

Ladies ‘Dame’ Mid Century Restroom Sign from South of France Made in Metal
Located in London, GB
A French Mid Century Modern Swimming Pool changing room sign for a Lady or Ladies. The 3 dimensional letters made from metal box cut and riveted and weld...
Category

1950s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Metal

Vintage Yellow & Black Painted Steel 'Slow Children' Traffic or Street Sign
Located in Philadelphia, PA
A fine vintage traffic or street sign. With graphics of a child running & large block letters spelling: 'SLOW CHILDREN'. Simply a great vintage ...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Steel

1950’s Enamel and Neon TV Sign
Located in Chicago, IL
1950’s enamel and glass TV sign. It has new transformer and new wiring. There will be Additional fee for shipping crate.
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Enamel

1950’s Neon Sign Diner
Located in Chicago, IL
1950’s neon sign Diner. It has new transformer and new wiring. Please note that this sign needs to be created for shipping. There will be fee to make ...
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Metal

Vintage Framed Signed Art
Located in Seattle, WA
Vintage framed signed art Dimensions. 72 W ; 36 1/4 H ; 3 D.
Category

1970s Vintage Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Wood, Glass

Large Midcentury Porcelain Letter "B" from the Stix Baer and Fuller Sign
Located in St. Louis, MO
Large 44.75" H porcelain letter B, from the former Stix, Baer & Fuller sign. This letter was once on the Mid-Century Modern Stix, Baer & Fuller department store in the Westroads Shop...
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Porcelain

Vintage Solo Margarine Enamel Mid-Century Sign
Located in Norwich, GB
A wonderful bright vintage enamel sign advertising Solo margarine. Belgian - Circa 1940's. The sign is in very good condition for its age, ther...
Category

Mid-20th Century Belgian Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Enamel

Vintage Elizabeth Arden Signs in Wood and Painted Aluminum
Located in Milano, IT
Rare advertising sign of Elizabeth Arden, an entrepreneur who founded, in that name, her cosmetics company, dating from the 1950s, taken from the Lake...
Category

1950s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Aluminum

Elizabeth Arden Vintage Wooden Signs
Located in Milano, IT
Rare advertising sign of Elizabeth Arden, an entrepreneur who founded, in that name, her cosmetics company, dating from the 1950s, taken from the Lake...
Category

1950s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Aluminum

1940s Enamel Sign for Eveready Batteries
Located in Antwerp, BE
Rare vintage collectable porcelain sign, enamel sign, enamelled advertising sign, antique advertising art for Eveready batteries. This advertising display shows a Piccolo - Bell boy...
Category

Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Enamel

1956 Advertising Sign with Bull for Metaroc Cement Building Materials
Located in Antwerp, BE
Advertising sign with a Bull for building materials. A Mid-20th century publicity sign, advertising sign made for the company Metaroc Brussels, Belgium. This company was known for h...
Category

Mid-20th Century Belgian Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Tin

Large Pop 1970s Wrangler "No-Fault" Jeans. Denim Store Display / Banner
Located in Buffalo, NY
Large pop modernist circa 1970s Wrangler "No-Fault" Jeans and Jackets, silkscreened on Denim, store display / banner, amazing original condition, appears to be new-old stock, Great i...
Category

1970s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Fabric

1950s Store Display Gibbs Shaving Razors, France
Located in Antwerp, BE
Vintage store display - counter display for Gibbs shaving razors. A 1950s shop mill - shop display with little boxes filled with shaving razors. This a...
Category

Mid-20th Century French Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Metal

Vintage "African Queen" Boat Name Sign, circa 1950s
Located in South Bend, IN
A fantastic vintage "African Queen" boat name sign, circa 1950s Measures: 59.63" W x 0.75" D x 10.13" H. Hand carved wood and paint Very good original vintage condition. ...
Category

20th Century Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Wood, Paint

Set of 7 Mid-Century Era Painted Wood Carnival Folk Art Sign Box Letters
Located in Hamilton, Ontario
This set of seven Folk Art wooden box letters were made in Canada is circa 1965 and were once mounted on a carnival sign for either a ride or an at...
Category

Mid-20th Century Canadian Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Wood

1950s Aluminum on Wood General Electric Logo, Sign Plaque
Located in Buffalo, NY
1950s aluminum on wood General Electric logo, sign plaque. Salvaged from General Electric Buffalo NY office, stunning, original plaque, cast aluminum depicting famous G E Logo, mount...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Aluminum

Pelican Blanc Glass Money Valve with Pelican Bird, Switzerland, 1950s
Located in Antwerp, BE
Vintage Money Valve - Ramasse-Monnaie for The White Pelican. Vintage Counter Display - Advertising Display. The White Pelican is known for the high quality of Fountain Pens , Ballpoints and Ink. This heavy and stabile glass Money Valve was used to put on counters nearby the Cash Desk...
Category

Mid-20th Century Swiss Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Glass

Midcentury Tin Advertising Sign Sacor Loft French 1950s Possible Light
Located in Mimizan, FR
Midcentury vintage advertising sign Sacor Libre service Made of yin Would make a good ceiling light In good vintage condition with signs of...
Category

Mid-20th Century French Mid-Century Modern Signs

Materials

Tin

Mid-century Modern signs for sale on 1stDibs.

Find a broad range of unique Mid-Century Modern signs for sale on 1stDibs. Many of these items were first offered in the Late 20th Century, but contemporary artisans have continued to produce works inspired by this style. If you’re looking to add vintage signs created in this style to your space, the works available on 1stDibs include folk art, wall decorations, lighting and other home furnishings, frequently crafted with metal, wood and other materials. If you’re shopping for used Mid-Century Modern signs made in a specific country, there are Europe, North America, and United States pieces for sale on 1stDibs. While there are many designers and brands associated with original signs, popular names associated with this style include Denisco, Displaymasters, General Electric, and Royal Crown Cola Co.. It’s true that these talented designers have at times inspired knockoffs, but our experienced specialists have partnered with only top vetted sellers to offer authentic pieces that come with a buyer protection guarantee. Prices for signs differ depending upon multiple factors, including designer, materials, construction methods, condition and provenance. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $295 and tops out at $12,500 while the average work can sell for $950.

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