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manlift custom metal sign

What is the history of signs?

Signs have been around, since cave men roamed the earth. The history of signs began with symbolic expression through paintings on cave walls. These paintings illustrated with early symbols, telling stories and communication messages between cavemen generations. 

Modern visual signs, as we know of today, started around 3000 B.C – during the rule of Greek, Roman and Egyptian people. These signs were made of stone or terra cotta and used symbols and imagery rather than text.  This was effective during the time as many people were illiterate.  Many signs made during this era were made through carvings or paintings on the interior and exterior walls of buildings.

After the Dark Ages, we saw an increase in trade, commerce and wealth.  This encouraged increasingly elaborate trade or business signs. The use of carvings, bright paint, ornamental iron and even gilding encouraged competition between merchants to see who could create the most elaborate signs.

Did You Know?  In the early 1700’s the very first government sign permits / regulations were put in place to protect the public from large signs hanging too far into the narrow streets. In the mid 1800’s we saw new gas light signs, then the invention of the electric bulb, created a whole new technology in signage. The invention of the neon tube, followed the invention of the light bulb. This neon tube technology could bend into countless shapes and came in many colors.  The improvement of plastics, before and after World War II, expanded its usage for advertising signs.  Today we see mobile phone apps driving LED changeable message signs. We have also seen recent issues with fire ratings of building sign materials, resulting in an increased use of CNC routered Stainless steel LED backlit signs instead of traditional lightboxes.  

Form A Sign keeps up to date with emerging sign technologies and the latest sticker materials to ensure we can recommend the best signage solution for your business.

high quality printed stickers

What is the history of stickers?

The humble beginning of stickers started in the 1880’s when merchants began placing stickers on their goods to attract the attention of their customers. These were hand written in the beginning and as the printing industry gained prominence the stickers became a large part of their daily workload. The stickers contained both prices of the goods and later short descriptions of the products.

Peak 4HF Fibreglass Boat Deoxidiser before and after


As serious fishermen we’ve all had a long weekend in dirty water.  We pull our boat out of the water and onto the trailer, and all we see is that brown smirky waterline.  Depressing huh!  You’ve had a great time out with your family or mates, but now you have to do the dreaded clean.   We have the product for you to make your job heaps easier.


Form A Sign receive boat hulls in all sorts of conditions prior to being wrapped.  Some are brand new and some look like they have been in the water for years.  So we’ve tried all of the cleaning and de-oxidising products on the market.  Processing over 20 boats per month, we need a cleaning product that just works.  We use Peter G’s Kleen A Hull to make our job easy. 


Kleen A Hull is an acidic based cleaner designed to remove discoloration, water stains, scuff marks and rust from fibreglass, aluminium, stainless, chrome and steel without affecting the gloss level. It’s easy to use, we use a soft brush or spray gun to apply Kleen A Hull to an area starting from  the bottom of the boat hull and working upwards.  We then agitate with a soft brush and then wash after 10-15 minutes.  It’s that easy, even our apprentice can do it.


If you prefer a more natural organic product we recommend Peak 4HF Fibreglass Boat Deoxidiser.  It works nearly as well as Kleen A Hull at removing yellowing stains caused by oxidisation, but without the harsh chemicals.  Best of all it is a 100% Australian owned product.


Both Kleen A Hull and Peak Deoxidiser can be purchased on our shop.  And of course, with all products we strongly recommend reading the instructions first.

wesley chandler boat wrap with marlin


You’ve invested in your boat wrap, so now you want to keep it looking like new.  At Form A Sign, we are competition fisherman with wraps on all of our boats.  After a day fishing we do an initial clean with CT18.  We use a ratio of CT18 to water of 50:1 for normal stains and 25:1 for deep stubborn fishing stains.  We brush the cT18 all over the boat with a soft broom or sponge.  We let it sit for 10 minutes so the CT18 can get to work.    We then use a pressure cleaner at a distance of 40cm to hose off the boat and boat wrap.  Any closer may damage the wrap. 

Once a year we need to re-hydrate the wrap with VuPlex or Plexus.  We like VuPlex because by applying a micro-thin layer of protectant, it seals the porous surface.  The polish finish makes the boat wrap resistant to debris, oil, scratches and yellowing.  It also makes fine scratches less visible.  Water and other contaminants are repelled from the surface, giving added protection.  The anti-static properties help to repel dust and abrasive materials.

We’ve had our boat wrap on for over 7 years, and following this cleaning method.  The wrap looks as good as new. VuPlex can be purchased in our online shop.