Smales gets brand new sign with GIANT pretzel

The new sign on one of Dayton’s most iconic bakeries combines the business’ logo and a font inspired by old factory lettering.

"And of course, there had to be a giant pretzel," Marysa Marderosian, the owner of Dayton based Pictograph Signs, said via email.

Marderosian recently finished painting the new sign on the front of Smales Pretzel Bakery, 210 Xenia Ave.

The sign includes white lettering and that giant pretzel painted with paint color matched to Smales’ pretzels.

Marderosian met Smales' owner Emma Smales about three years ago while competing in PUSH Dayton's Ladies Arm Wrestling tournament at the Trolley Stop in the Oregon District.

The women became friends.

>> PHOTOS: PUSH Dayton Ladies of the 80’s Arm Wrestling

“She was aware that I was an artist and that I've been making signs for several years now, but I just got my LLC this summer. She contacted me about her vision for the sign,” Marderosian, also an art teacher for Montgomery County Juvenile Court School, said.

The sign is part of Smales’ ongoing renovations.

Marderosian was raised in Kettering, but said she didn’t discover Smales’ until she was in her 20s.

“I have loved going there ever since I had my first warm soft pretzel from the oven,” she said.

In the past, Marderosian worked at Wheat Penny, Coco’s Bistro and other local restaurants.

>>  RELATED: The 12 best restaurants in Dayton

She said her bosses used her artwork to advertise the daily specials on their walls.

“My dad taught me how to draw, so I have been making art for as long as I can remember,” she wrote. “I didn't get into sign making until I worked as an artist for Trader Joe’s (2008-10). That job helped quite a bit in terms of lettering and precision.”

FIRST REPORT (Aug 23, 2018):  

>> Smales building getting first facelift in 60 years, and here’s how it looks so far

It isn’t every day a hardware store is asked to create a pretzel colored paint.

That's exactly what Emma Smales asked workers at a Dayton-area Home Depot to do after handing off a pretzel from her family's business, Smales Pretzel Bakery, 210 Xenia Ave.

>> Legendary Smales Pretzel Bakery is under construction after over a century of pumping out warm treats

“They said it was the weirdest thing they have ever color-matched,” said Smales, the fifth-generation owner of the business established in 1906. “I feel pretty good about that.”

Credit: Amelia Robinson

Credit: Amelia Robinson

Weather permitted, Dayton artist Marysa Marderosian of Pictograph Signs is expected to make corrections and finish the business' sign featuring a pretzel-colored pretzel and white lettering by the end of the week.

The new sign is part of Smales’ ongoing renovations inside and outside of the building.

“We want to do our part to make (the) Twin Towers (neighborhood) a better place. Part of that is to make our building look the best it can look,” Smales said. “There has not been work on the outside of the building in 60 years. It is time for an update.”

>> MORE: Dayton Classic lives on, fifth generation takes over at Smales Pretzel Bakery

The shop’s current location dates back to 1926.

Until Marderosian’s work began, the front of the building was white aluminum siding featuring a small-ish red and white sign.

Smales said work will be done on the building’s side and planters will be added.

“Hopefully it stands out more on the street and make it easier for people to find,” Smales said.  “We also wanted it to look classic and keep in the same vein of the building.”

 >>‘Poppin’ Off Gourmet Popcorn’ signs lease to open retail store

Credit: Marysa Marderosian

Credit: Marysa Marderosian

Credit: Emma Smales

Credit: Emma Smales

Credit: Amelia Robinson

Credit: Amelia Robinson

About the Author