Ye Olde Sign Shoppe
Since childhood, Bill Kaigle has viewed letters as artistic shapes that communicate. He's a lifelong Vermonter and primarily self-taught artist whose desire to create natural pieces of organic beauty, introspection, and carefree whimsy – as well as capture a sense of time and place with a vintage flair – shines through in his sign art.
Bill created Ye Olde Sign Shoppe in 1999 after deciding he wanted to make a few "old-looking signs" on naturally aged wood and other interesting materials. So he handmade the artwork and produced a pretty cool "Antiques" sign. Then his roommate asked him to paint the name of his parents' camp on an antique ice saw. From there he was hooked, and it wasn't long before more requests came in and a business was born. His wife Jen began helping with the hand-painting step of the sign-making process a few years later, and she now does all of the painting.
Bill enjoys many mediums, including photography and pencil & ink illustration. But it's his love of letterforms and the art of typographic style – which began at an early age, hand-lettering mailboxes at the age of 12 – that has held the strongest, and which continues to grow today. After graduating from Champlain College, Bill followed his passion into a career in the graphic arts. Travel to Europe has also deepened his appreciation of historic sign and poster art, influencing color choices and the creation of richly painted surfaces.
Blending his imagination with a unique sign message occasionally leads to mixed media projects. Many inspirations come from nature, and Bill will often ‘follow the wood’s lead’ toward the design that will look best on a particular piece. He also enjoys talking with clients and exploring their emotional attachments, creativity, and their own unique ideas, and then bringing them to life on their finished sign.
Bill resides in Milton with his wife Jen, daughter Anna and son Evan. He's happy to open his barn showroom for viewing of home decor signs in stock or to discuss a custom order. You may also watch this video, explaining some of his story, process, and inspiration: