Saturday's pre-faire prep day didn't have enough hours in it to do all that needed to be done, so, being a helium-handed volunteer, I offered to do some work at home.
When I have the time, I use my computer to draft up actual-size templates for signs like this, and then use graphite transfer (scribbling on the back of the paper with pencil, and then tracing the letters so the graphite transfers to the sign) before I pull out the paintbrushes. These all had to be done tonight, meaning I only had two or three hours to work on the lot of them, so they're all freehand, with the simplest of pencil sketching for placement before putting paint to plywood.
Years ago I dated a guy who couldn't apply his hands to anything but a computer keyboard with any degree of skill. We were planning to go to a roller derby bout one weekend, so I got some posterboard, markers, and glitter glue, and made some signs in honor of our favorite skaters. The fellow watched as I lightly sketched out my designs and lettering in pencil, without using any templates or stencils, and was astonished. He had never seen anyone do freehand lettering before, and, it seems, he'd never even considered that it was something a person could do.
I'm not sure whether to credit the arts & crafts projects my mother had me do during the 7 years I was in 4-H, or perhaps the years of technical/architectural drafting classes I took with teachers who insisted we know how to draft by hand before we switched to CAD, but this is one of my favorite astound-the-muggles talents. I can't draw worth a damn, and my signature looks like a doctor's, but when it comes to lettering and calligraphy, I can whip up something spiffy in a jiffy.
Now if I can just figure out how to get enough rest before the faire starts Saturday morning, I'll be in good shape.