Marking 35 years of creating signage for downtown Hudson

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Photo by/Ed Karvoski Jr.
Paul Tucker stands with his signage at Hudson Town Hall.

By Ed Karvoski, Contributing Writer

HUDSON – Local artist Paul Tucker continues to create signs that complement the architecture of many businesses, nonprofits and landmarks in downtown Hudson.  

A 1984 graduate of Butera School of Art in Boston, he began his business, Sign Logic, at the age of 23 in 1986.

“The beauty of starting in Hudson was that it’s a small town, and everybody knows one another,” he said of his hometown. “Almost all of my work in the beginning was from word of mouth between the downtown merchants. I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of this community.”

Thirty-five years’ experience in downtown Hudson has its perks. Tucker knows that a number of the older buildings require extra screws to securely install brackets.

“You learn certain things after doing a few signs at the same locations,” he explained.

Tucker is also aware of gusty winds from the Assabet River.

“I’ve been blown off my ladder,” he acknowledged. “I was heading toward a beautiful Volvo and thinking, ‘I can’t afford to fix this thing!’ Something went my way and I didn’t hit it.”

Downtown mainstays

Tucker’s longest working relationship is with Hudson Appliance & Mattress Gallery owners Arthur and Donna Redding. Their store has undergone multiple renovations and expansions over the years.

“We were a part of every single step of that for the last 35 years,” Tucker said of his business, which repeatedly provided signage and truck lettering. 

In recent years, he updated Hudson Appliance’s signage when mattresses were added to its inventory and name.

Another of Tucker’s longtime clients is Avidia Bank. His work, in fact, predates Avidia’s current name, as he provided signage for Hudson Savings Bank long before it merged with Westborough Savings Bank and formed Avidia Bank in 2007.

“When you get work from certain businesses in town, you feel like you’ve made it,” he noted. “This was definitely one of those accounts.”

Now, in addition to Hudson, Tucker does signage for Avidia’s branches in Clinton, Framingham, Leominster, Marlborough, Northborough, Shrewsbury and Westborough.

Along the way, he developed a working relationship with Ray Murphy, Avidia’s now-retired vice president of facilities.

Playful artwork

During Hudson’s 150th anniversary in 2016, Murphy arranged for pianos to be hauled from people’s homes to downtown for passersby to play. Tucker painted one such piano that remained stationed outside of Avidia’s Main Street location for several years after 2016. 

That instrument was donated by a woman named Maggie, who taught her children how to play on it. One of Maggie’s now-adult daughters wanted the piano to be enjoyed rather than kept in storage.

Tucker’s design incorporates his pinstriping skills with a caricature of John Lennon, a peace sign and the handwritten moniker “Maggie.”

“Even though it’s an inanimate object, the piano had an unbelievable vibe,” he recalled.  “I tried to give it an almost ‘70s hippie feel. Later, talking with the daughter, she said that I nailed it. It couldn’t get better than that.”

Hometown pride

Tucker’s signs also adorn downtown Hudson’s regional destinations including Amaia Martini Bar, Medusa Brewing Company, New City Microcreamery and Rail Trail Flatbread Co. Among other fairly new, unique businesses that attract both residents and visitors with his signs are Beyond the Barn Boston, Café 641 and Synergy Wellness Center.

Additionally, he created signage for the nonprofits Hudson AMVETS Post 208 and the Argeo R. Cellucci Jr. Clubhouse of Boys & Girls Clubs of MetroWest. His signs are displayed at Hudson Town Hall, Hudson Senior Center, Cellucci Park and Hudson Downtown Business Improvement District, Inc.

“Hudson is my town,” Tucker declared. “The way that my signs and buildings work together can help the town and businesses’ success.”