Shop Talk: Eve Rutledge
Owner & designer, Mystic Blue Signs
HOW DID MYSTIC BLUE SIGNS START?
Mystic Blue Signs began when I moved to New Orleans from San Francisco at the end of 1995. With New Orleans’ strong appreciation of its architectural history, I thought I could paint traditional signs here. My husband, Vince Mitchell, joined the company in 2003.
HOW DID YOU COME INTO DESIGNING SIGNS?
I learned in a small sign shop in 1973, but signs are just one side of my 45-year history with lettering. I also have studied and worked in typography, commissioned calligraphy, logo design, book design and hand engraving. Vince learned on the job at Mystic Blue, and expanded our portfolio to include metal letters and welded sculptural elements.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CUSTOMERS.
Our customers are both locals and travelers. Tourists like small signs perfect for souvenirs, like: “If I’m not in New Orleans, I’m in exile.” For locals, gold leaf is a favorite; we do the gold addresses on glass door transoms, all by hand, with sheets of 23 karat gold – the traditional way.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE SIGNS YOU'VE CREATED?
The first logo Mystic Blue designed in New Orleans was for Aunt Sally’s Pralines. We also did La Petite Grocery on Magazine Street.
TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR COMPANY WE WOULDN'T KNOW.
We teach lettering and handwriting classes and workshops in our shop, and at Loyola’s graphic design department.
WHAT MAKES MYSTIC BLUE UNIQUE?
We are the only shop in New Orleans that doesn’t use computers for designing or making signs; everything is done by hand.
IS THERE ANYTHING EXCITING YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE?
In our gallery space, we sell posters, prints, local art and periodically host art shows.
Mystic Blue Signs
2212 Magazine St., 525-469, MysticBlueSigns.com