Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sign Painters

I have always been attracted to hand painted signs. Even the not-so-well-done ones. There's something about handmade that is so endearing and important. Luckily, I'm not the only one that believes this (I think there are lots of us and only growing). Sam Macon and Faythe Levine have recently begun traveling the country documenting men and women still involved in the art of hand lettering signs. They haven't been in production for very long so I'm afraid we'll have to wait quite a while before this is actually available to watch. But, they're doing an excellent job of blogging about their travels and they have a lovely Flickr photostream. I'm very excited to keep up with their progress!
"The Sign Painter" Movie
"The Sign Painter" Movie
I hope you can see all of the intrigue on this page! The artists and their space and their work is just so inspiring. I'm particularly interested in the interview with Ray Giese. He's been painting signs since he was 20 (70! years ago) and still does it. It's amazing how even in a photograph you can just tell that he's got some stories to tell and some wisdom to teach. Be sure to check out the blog and photostream for even more great images and information.

The last strip in the above collection is New Bohemia Signs based in San Francisco. They are a busy little group and do excellent work. I decided to showcase them specifically because they have a gorgeous online portfolio and website and because they reminded me that sign painting doesn't have to be retro in style. They do a beautiful job with modern typography and simple layouts as well as the more traditional painting.
New Bohemia Signs
Now, go into your community and appreciate your sign artists.

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