Leah & Louise: Creating a Custom Sign for a Modern Juke Joint
A Local Restaurant Bringing Mississippi Valley Dishes to Charlotte
Leah & Louise is a restaurant local to Charlotte, NC founded and led by James Beard-nominated Chef, Greg Collier and business partner/wife Subrina Collier. Leah & Louise is a self-described southern-inspired juke joint that brings classic dishes from the Mississippi River Valley to the Queen City. This delicious local business has earned a well-deserved reputation for excellence, earning hundreds of 5-star Google reviews in the process.
Leah & Louise is located at Camp North End, a former car factory and military depot repurposed into a shopping and entertainment venue just north of uptown Charlotte. In order to make Leah & Louise stand out among the trendy shops, bars, and restaurants, Greg and Subrina Collier reached out to the sign specialists at Heritage Printing, Signs & Displays. In coordination with Alli Cruse of Camp North End, the Heritage team collaborated with the Colliers to make Leah & Louise a prominent fixture of this trendy nightlife location.
A Sign for a Modern Juke Joint
When it came time to create a sign for the Camp North End location, the Colliers had the Leah & Louise logo on hand as well as a vision for what they wanted the sign to look like. Specifically, they wanted to achieve the rustic look of a modern juke joint, historically African-American establishments in the Southeast best known for their lively music and dancing. After consulting with the Heritage team on the best ways to implement the Leah & Louise logo into a three-dimensional sign, the final list of materials included a combination of corrugated metal, ½” acrylic, and solid cedar. The rust pattern was designed to be printed directly onto the corrugated metal. Additionally, standoffs were designed to be installed behind the letters so that they would float 1” away from the metal, thus projecting a three-dimensional effect and allowing the logo text to stand out more effectively. Lastly, the wood block serving as the foundation for the custom sign was stained with linseed oil to accentuate the natural beauty of the wood.
The Process of Crafting a Custom Sign
Once the design was conceptualized and approved by the Colliers, the Heritage team set about to bring the sign to life. The steps that the team of sign specialists took to create Leah & Louise’s custom acrylic sign included the following:
- Laser-cut the Leah & Louise logo out of ½” thick white acrylic.
- Created a template for the letters to go into.
- UV printed the color directly to the acrylic to leave a white border around the individual letters.
- Cleaned and added UV adhesion promoter to the corrugated metal.
- UV printed the rust pattern to the face of the corrugated metal.
- Used Linseed oil on the cedar wood to enhance the natural finish and act as a protectant for the wood, since it ages gracefully and adds an amber look over time.
- Routed holes into the wood for the standoff studded letters and corrugated metal.
- Used white PVC piping as spacers to go over the studs behind each letter to complete the finished look when installed.
- Attached metal studs to the letters.
- Added adhesive to all the holes to aid in the installation of the letters. The glue held the studs upright while they settled into the holes that were drilled into the wood.
- Installed flush onto the brick wall of the Leah & Louise building’s exterior.
Greg and Subrina Collier were thrilled with how the sign evoked the feel of a modern juke joint that they had intended. The sign amplifies the Leah & Louise brand and raises its visibility among the other restaurants in Camp North End.
Heritage Printing, Signs & Displays Specializes in Custom Sign Creation
Heritage Printing, Signs & Displays is a local, veteran-owned sign company serving Charlotte, NC, and Washington DC. Heritage is known for quality project management and customer service in support of clients’ commercial interior graphics, event signage, retail point of purchase displays, commercial printing, and direct mail. Heritage offers turn-key solutions for its clients’ print and signage needs.