I think one of the best references for color and design can be found in the old fruit and vegetable crate labels. They can be invaluable when it comes to creating great looking signs that also have that period look. They were designed to get your attention from the moment you looked at them. With the use of a strong layout, combined with good color harmony, they just have that look you don't see anymore. They married lettering and graphics like like no other form of advertising. Over the years I've collected a large number of these labels to be use on different projects. One of the things I enjoy doing is re-creating these labels by hand. It not only challenges your lettering skills, but also your artistic skills, plus they look good on your wall. Here's just a few examples to get your creative juices going. Take some time and give one a try, you won't be disappointed. Comment welcomed.