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Modern Signs

MODERN STYLE

The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw sweeping social change and major scientific advances — both of which contributed to a new aesthetic: modernism. Rejecting the rigidity of Victorian artistic conventions, modernists sought a new means of expression. References to the natural world and ornate classical embellishments gave way to the sleek simplicity of the Machine Age. Architect Philip Johnson characterized the hallmarks of modernism as “machine-like simplicity, smoothness or surface [and] avoidance of ornament.”

Early practitioners of modernist design include the De Stijl (“The Style”) group, founded in the Netherlands in 1917, and the Bauhaus School, founded two years later in Germany.

Followers of both groups produced sleek, spare designs — many of which became icons of daily life in the 20th century. The modernists rejected both natural and historical references and relied primarily on industrial materials such as metal, glass, plywood, and, later, plastics. While Bauhaus principals Marcel Breuer and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe created furniture from mass-produced, chrome-plated steel, American visionaries like Charles and Ray Eames worked in materials as novel as molded plywood and fiberglass. Today, Breuer’s Wassily chair, Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona chaircrafted with his romantic partner, designer Lilly Reich — and the Eames lounge chair are emblems of progressive design and vintage originals are prized cornerstones of collections.

It’s difficult to overstate the influence that modernism continues to wield over designers and architects — and equally difficult to overstate how revolutionary it was when it first appeared a century ago. But because modernist furniture designs are so simple, they can blend in seamlessly with just about any type of décor. Don’t overlook them.

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Style: Modern
Framed John Smith's Beer Sign, 1970s
Located in Antwerp, BE
Framed John Smith's beer sign. Original old advertising sign for the famous Pale Ale Beer, dated 1976. It's English beer of the brewery John Smith's Tadc...
Category

Late 20th Century Belgian Modern Signs

Materials

Other, Tin

1950s Modern French Wall Sign for Coffee
Located in Antwerp, BE
1950s French wall sign for coffee. Great wall decoration in modern style; a sign in bright blue color with a red band and a kind of ribbon with the Jihair ...
Category

Mid-20th Century French Modern Signs

Materials

Other

Stella Artois Belgian Beer Sign by Rob Otten, 1960s
Located in Antwerp, BE
1960s Beer sign for the Belgian Beer Brand Stella Artois. This Beer Sign was made by the Company Rob Otten which was located in Brussels. It's a glacoid sign mounted on cardboard. With original tax stamp at the back. This vintage beer sign...
Category

Mid-20th Century Belgian Modern Signs

Materials

Other

Vintage German Beer Sign with Waiter
Located in Antwerp, BE
Vintage German beer sign with waiter. A great looking beer advertising sign - advertising display for German beer. This vintage sign dates 1950 - 1960 and...
Category

Mid-20th Century German Modern Signs

Materials

Other

Red Sign Belgian Beer Witkap Pater 1956
Located in Antwerp, BE
Red sign for Belgian Beer. A tin advertising sign dated 1956. Made for the Brewery Kind. H. Verlinden which was located in Brasschaat Belgium till the end o...
Category

Mid-20th Century Belgian Modern Signs

Materials

Tin

Vintage 1958 Jos. Schiltz Large 73" Lighted Brewing Beer Advertisement Bar Sign
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Vintage 1958 Jos. Schiltz Large 73" Lighted Brewing Beer Advertisement Bar Sign. Item features a large impressive size, fluorescent lighted bulb interior, wonderful color, original l...
Category

1950s Vintage Modern Signs

Materials

Metal

Large Red Liebig Sign, 1950s
Located in Antwerp, BE
Large Red Liebig Sign from the 1950s. A French porcelain sign - enameled metal sign for Liebig Soup - Liebig Potage, made by A.A.F. Great looking wall decoration in the colors red and white with charming traces by age. Vintage sign - vintage porcelain sign wich will look great in your interior or kitchen, in a soup bar, restaurant, tavern, catering facility etc .... Vintage signs - Vintage wall decoration - vintage wall signs...
Category

Mid-20th Century French Modern Signs

Materials

Metal

Large Vintage Hamm's Beer Lakeside Plastics Advertising Hanging Lighted Sign
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Large vintage Hamm's beer lakeside plastics advertising hanging lighted sign. Item features a large impressive size, lighted interior, "Hamm's Beer, Take Home Cool Refreshment," orig...
Category

Mid-20th Century Modern Signs

Materials

Metal

Card Game Wall Decoration Sign, 1961
Located in Antwerp, BE
Vintage card game wall decoration sign. 1960s advertising sign with a typical card game scene: green playing card felt, playing cards, dice, a go...
Category

Mid-20th Century Belgian Modern Signs

Materials

Other, Tin

New Jersey Lottery Tickets Lottery Clover Club Advertisement Stand Kiosk Counter
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Vintage New Jersey Lottery Tickets "NJ Lottery Clover Club" Advertisement Stand Kiosk Counter. Item features 0riginal advertisement decals on front and ...
Category

1970s Vintage Modern Signs

Materials

Wood, Paint

Lifesize Johnnie Walker Shop Advertising Display Man
Located in Antwerp, BE
Lifesize Johnnie Walker display man. A lifesize advertising display - shop display - store display figure for Scotch whisky. The typical striding man with top hat, coat, boots and walking stick. A black and gold advertising figure for the Johnnie Walker black label, black label limited edition, gold label, Christmas edition, anniversary edtion. This Johnny Walker statue...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary European Modern Signs

Materials

Fiberglass

Vintage Masonic Lodge Rotating Sign Liberty Hall Strict Order Candle Holders
Located in GB
Wimbledon-Furniture Wimbledon-Furniture is delighted to offer for sale this vintage Masonic Lodge rotating wood sign with brass candle holders A g...
Category

20th Century English Modern Signs

Materials

Wood

Vintage Porcelain Water Level Sign Blue and White
Located in Antwerp, BE
Vintage European porcelain water level sign in blue and white. This enamel sign to measure depth of the water in the great colors blue and white is a great decorative sign. The blue and white gives a stripes idea. It's great wall decoration - decorative wall sign which is made of enamelled metal. Suits as well an industrial setting, a modern one, child's room as well in a mancave. Vintage signs - porcelain signs - enamel signs - striped wall decoration - blue and white wall decoration - vintage european sign...
Category

Mid-20th Century European Modern Signs

Materials

Porcelain

Large Hollywood Chewing Gum Advertising Display Suitcase
Located in Antwerp, BE
Vintage original Hollywood Chewing Gum display suitcase - Advertising display. This Large suitcase for the French brand of Hollywood Chewing Gum, since 19...
Category

Late 20th Century French Modern Signs

Materials

Plastic

Porcelain Belgian Beer Sign, Three Stars Leopold, 1950s
Located in Antwerp, BE
Porcelain Beer Sign for Belgian Beer - Three Stars Leopold Sign A large and great looking Belgian beer sign with the American colors white, red and blue ...
Category

Mid-20th Century Belgian Modern Signs

Materials

Metal

Advertising Sign for an Optician, from 1920s
Located in Vienna, Austria
Hand painted metal advertising sign for an optician. The shield was attached to the facade on an optician shop and is painted with the same motive on both sides. Signed from the si...
Category

1920s Czech Vintage Modern Signs

Materials

Metal

Double Sided Texas Cigarettes Sign, 1980s
Located in Antwerp, BE
Colorful double sided sign for Texas cigarettes. A large red and blue advertising sign - billboard with a logo of a Texas cowboy on a horse. This publicity sign was probably used as a sidewalk sign. This vintage tobacco sign...
Category

Late 20th Century European Modern Signs

Materials

Acrylic

Related Items
Vintage French Christian Dior Advertising Statue, 1960s
Located in HEVERLEE, BE
Beautiful and intruiging advertising statue for Christian Dior. This would have been used on a shop counter or to draw attention in a shop windo...
Category

1960s French Vintage Modern Signs

Materials

Plaster

Vintage French Christian Dior Advertising Statue, 1960s
Located in HEVERLEE, BE
Beautiful and intruiging advertising statue for Christian Dior. This would have been used on a shop counter or to draw attention in a shop windo...
Category

1960s French Vintage Modern Signs

Materials

Plaster

French, 19th Century Iron Shoemakers Shop Sign
Located in Buisson, FR
Original riveted sheet iron shoemakers shop sign. Unique find, France, circa 1800-1850. Traces of red paint visible. Weathered.
Category

19th Century French Antique Modern Signs

Materials

Iron

French, 19th Century Iron Shoemakers Shop Sign
French, 19th Century Iron Shoemakers Shop Sign
H 15.75 in W 22.05 in D 0.79 in
Folk Art Sign
Located in London, GB
An Edwardian Folk Art sign with overscale finger, insribed ‘Left Luggage’.
Category

20th Century English Modern Signs

Materials

Hardwood

Folk Art Sign
Folk Art Sign
H 8.27 in W 21.66 in D 0.79 in
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 Modern Signs

Materials

Tin

Vintage French Christian Dior Advertising Statue, 1960s
Located in HEVERLEE, BE
Beautiful and intriguing advertising statue for Christian Dior. This would have been used on a shop counter or to draw attention in a shop windo...
Category

1960s French Vintage Modern Signs

Materials

Plaster

1950’s Liquor Neon Sign
Located in Chicago, IL
1950’s single sided Liquor neon and porcelain sign. New transformer and new wiring. It does work.
Category

1950s North American Vintage Modern Signs

Materials

Metal, Enamel

1950’s Liquor Neon Sign
1950’s Liquor Neon Sign
H 19 in W 60 in D 10.5 in
Vintage Porcelain Corona Beer Sign
Located in San Diego, CA
Super cool and hard to find vintage porcelain Corona beer sign, circa 1970s. The sign is actually a former tabletop at a roadside cantina in Mexico. The di...
Category

Mid-20th Century Mexican Modern Signs

Materials

Metal

Red and White Graphic New York Bus Subway Destination Sign
Located in Santa Monica, CA
Very large New York bus destination sign. Unusual in red. Very graphic. Bottom of roll was date stamped 1951. 7 1/2 feet tall.
Category

1950s American Vintage Modern Signs

Materials

Canvas

Old Vintage Fun Wooden Hand Painted Sign 'No Parking' Decorative Wall Shelf Art
Located in Llanbrynmair, GB
A fun hand painted wooden sign reads ‘NO PARKING THIS MEANS YOU’ – Definitely some British humour! A very old sign, probably dates back to Mid 20...
Category

20th Century British Modern Signs

Materials

Pine

Rare 1970s Adult Peep Show, Books & Magazines, Large Plastic Embossed Sign XXX
By Terry Richardson
Located in St. Louis, MO
Large 1970s sign with embossed letters, Adult Peep Show - Books & Magazines. Sold without its original aluminum frame, can be back lit with LED. Small star crack to top of Red "S", minor loss of paint and scuffs. Subject matter is in the style of photographer Terry Richardson...
Category

1970s American Vintage Modern Signs

Materials

Plastic

405 Freeway Sign
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Interstate 405 freeway sign. Cool piece of California signage. Good vintage condition. Little stars imprinted thought the metal sign.
Category

1990s American Modern Signs

Materials

Steel

405 Freeway Sign
405 Freeway Sign
H 18 in W 21 in D 0.13 in
Previously Available Items
Vintage Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ken's Auto Repair Sheet Metal Retail Sign
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Vintage Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ken's Auto Repair Sheet Metal Retail Sign. Circa Late 20th Century. Measurements: 36" H x 47.5" W.
Category

Late 20th Century Modern Signs

Materials

Sheet Metal

Set of 12 Vintage Herb Planting Labels, English, Decor, Horticulture, Gardening
Located in Hele, Devon, GB
This is a set of 12 vintage herb planting labels. An English, cast metal decorative horticultural accessory with relief plant detail, dating to the late 20...
Category

Late 20th Century British Modern Signs

Materials

Metal

Porcelain Cigar Sign with Jester for Hofnar Cigars, The Netherlands, 1950s
By Langcat Bussum
Located in Antwerp, BE
Great looking porcelain cigar sign. This large enamel sign for cigars dates from the 1950s and was made by Langcat Bussum Holland for the Dutch brand "Ho...
Category

Mid-20th Century Dutch Modern Signs

Materials

Metal

Double Sided Texas Cigarettes Sign, 1980s
Located in Antwerp, BE
Colorful double sided sign for Texas cigarettes. A large red and blue advertising sign - billboard with a logo of a Texas cowboy on a horse. This publicity sign was probably used as a sidewalk sign. This vintage tobacco sign...
Category

Late 20th Century European Modern Signs

Materials

Acrylic

Double Sided Texas Cigarettes Sign, 1980s
Double Sided Texas Cigarettes Sign, 1980s
H 39.57 in W 23.63 in D 0.79 in
Large Vintage 'Miami Beach' Enamelled Metal Sign
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
Large vintage 'Miami Beach' enameled metal sign, in two parts Measures: Miami 47" wide x 12.5" -18.75" high x 2" thick Beach 48"wide x 9.5" - 20.5"...
Category

Late 20th Century Modern Signs

Materials

Metal

Large Round Porcelain Sign Renault Oil Service, 1960s
Located in Antwerp, BE
Large round porcelain sign for Renault Oil Service. Dimension: almost 39.37 inch - 100 cm round! This enamel sign - garage sign is dated 1960. Made by...
Category

Mid-20th Century Belgian Modern Signs

Materials

Enamel

Red and Gold Dollar Sign, America, circa 1970
Located in Culver City, CA
Red and gold dollar sign, America, circa 1970 Enameled metal with foil and acrylic. Front is red with gold back.
Category

1970s American Vintage Modern Signs

Materials

Metal

Vintage Neon "Open" Sign
Located in South Bend, IN
A fantastic vintage neon "OPEN" sign USA, circa 1990s Measures: 35.75" W x 4" D x 16.5" H. Very good working condition.
Category

Late 20th Century American Modern Signs

Materials

Glass, Plastic

Vintage Neon "Open" Sign
Vintage Neon "Open" Sign
H 16.5 in W 35.75 in D 4 in
Vintage Custom Neon "Antiques" Sign
Located in South Bend, IN
A fantastic custom vintage neon "ANTIQUES" sign USA, circa 1990s Measures: 53"W x 4.75"D x 13.13"H. Good working condition.
Category

Late 20th Century American Modern Signs

Materials

Blown Glass, Acrylic

Vintage Custom Neon "Antiques" Sign
Vintage Custom Neon "Antiques" Sign
H 13.13 in W 53 in D 4.75 in
Bronze Barclays Bank Spread Eagle Emblem 1736 James Barclay Very Rare Find Metal
Located in GB
We are delighted to offer for sale this very highly collectible John Barclays bank based on the original from 1736 A very good look and collatable antique John Barclays bank wall mounted spread eagle...
Category

19th Century English Antique Modern Signs

Materials

Metal

Vintage Custom Neon "Art" Sign
Located in South Bend, IN
A fantastic custom vintage neon "ART" sign USA, circa 1990s Measures: 45" W x 2.25" D x 22" H. Very good working condition. Ready to hang.
Category

Late 20th Century American Modern Signs

Materials

Other

Vintage Custom Neon "Art" Sign
Vintage Custom Neon "Art" Sign
H 22 in W 45 in D 2.25 in
Belga Cigarettes Advertising Sign by Rob Otten, Framed Cellulite, 1954
Located in Antwerp, BE
Vintage advertising sign for Belga Cigarettes. This publicity sign has the Belgium colors black, red and yellow. Made by rob otten brussels. It's a tin framed cellulite sign. Wall d...
Category

Mid-20th Century Belgian Modern Signs

Materials

Tin

Modern signs for sale on 1stDibs.

Find a broad range of unique Modern signs for sale on 1stDibs. Many of these items were first offered in the 21st Century and Contemporary, 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, more furniture and collectibles and other home furnishings, frequently crafted with metal, other and other materials. If you’re shopping for used Modern signs made in a specific country, there are Europe, Belgium, and France pieces for sale on 1stDibs. While there are many designers and brands associated with original signs, popular names associated with this style include and Rob Otten. 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 $294 and tops out at $3,051 while the average work can sell for $721.

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