Right Way Signs

Chicago Handmade Signs

Serving fresh since 1980!

Right Way Signs Right Way Signs

A full service chicago sign company for over 50 years

"This One Company is Responsible for the Best Painted Signs Around Town!" - Chicago Magazine

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Right Way Signs Milwaukee has a dedicated focus on sign painting, hand painted signs, hand painted murals and more. Right Way Signs Milwaukee is led by Sarah Elise of Filthy Freehand.

Sarah Elise of Filthy Freehand Powered By Right Way Signs

Sarah’s love for lettering, typography, and design stems from the degree in Architecture she earned at UW-Milwaukee in 2007. In 2014 she discovered her passion for sign painting and dove in head first, gaining as much knowledge and experience as she possibly could. Traditional sign painting education in America has become nearly nonexistent following the vinyl boom of the 80’s and 90’s, so Sarah had to teach herself the hard way – through experimentation and lots of practice. She also attends as many workshops, meet-ups, and exhibitions as she can, learning from and being inspired by her peers and mentors.

Hand painted exterior sign on brick for Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co. in Milwaukee.

Her sign painting career took off in Milwaukee. Sarah slowly built up her business known as Filthy Freehand.  Over the years she has been hired by many of the city’s most beloved businesses. Some notable locations she’s painted at include Dan Dan in the Third Ward; Fuel Cafe and Anodyne Coffee in Walker’s Point; Company Brewing in Riverwest; and Burnhearts, Goodkind, and Vanguard in Bay View. One of her most recognized pieces is a mural on the side of Fink’s in the Brady Street neighborhood that cheerily says “Hello Milwaukee” in bright yellow letters. 

Hello Milwaukee hand lettered sign / mural.
Sign painting project for Fuel Cafe in Milwaukee.

While Sarah loves all kinds of signs and murals, she has a particular fondness for working with gold leaf. She appreciates the deep rooted history of gold signs and believes the warmth and brilliance of genuine gold simply can’t be replicated by any other means. Some examples of Sarah’s gold work can be seen at local businesses like Fauntleroy in the Third Ward, Orange and Blue Co. in Brewer’s Hill, and Odd Duck in Bay View. 

Sarah hand lettering and applying gold leaf for Antique Taco in Chicago.

In 2019 she moved to Chicago and began working with Right Way Signs. During her time there she gained more hands-on experience and insight while working alongside Ches Perry, who has been painting signs since 1970. Sarah is now returning to Milwaukee, helping to bring Right Way Sign’s dedication to quality hand painted signs along with her.


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