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Art That Makes You Smile: How It's Made

Updated: Jan 31, 2021

All our signs are made in Hawaii. The whimsy designs, high-quality materials and attention to detail is what makes our colorful decor unique. Here are the steps we go through to make art that makes you smile...

We only use high-quality plywood – never particle board or MDF which is prone to swelling and coming apart.

Picking the right materials. We use high-quality plywood for its strength and stability and never use MDF or particle board which is prone to swelling and falling apart from moisture. We source our raw materials from locally-owned businesses.

Cutting the plywood. We enlist the help of local mills to cut the plywood for us. This costs more than getting the material sourced and cut overseas but it gives us more control over quality and turnaround time.

Michelle painting
Michelle painting a cute new sign.

Creating the artwork. Michelle and I create all the beach and tropical art you see here. We usually paint with acrylics. "Art that makes you smile" is our mantra and guiding principle when we start a painting. We strive to create decor that reminds you of Hawaii and puts a smile on your face.

Scanning the artwork. After Michelle or I complete a painting I'll scan the artwork and optimize the colors for printing on wood.

Printing the artwork. Our prints are made on a special printer designed to print directly onto the wood. This gives the color more depth and a unique "vintage" look as the wood grain subtly shows through the image. Printing with this method is also more durable as the image won't delaminate and is very fade and scratch resistant.

5x7 sign - back detail
The Artopia Hawaii seal of approval.

Quality Check and finishing touches. We check each sign for flaws in the print and exclusions in the wood. After determining everything looks good we add the hanging hardware and stamp it with our seal of approval.

We stand by our work. Our goal is to make art that makes you smile. If your purchase from our shop doesn't make you smile, let us know and we'll do what it takes to make it right.

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