Sign Painters & Sign Carvers

If you happen to live in Asheville, Austin or Istanbul, or any of the other locations listed here, and – like me – you are fascinated by traditional sign-making, get a few like-minded friends together and go watch The Signpainters, a documentary about hand-lettering in America. It’s a movie by photographer Faythe Levine & filmmaker Sam Macon, that has been a few years in the making, but is now showing in a theatre near (or maybe not so near) you.

Faythe Levine

Faythe Levine

Recently, I had the chance to chat with Faythe about the project. I asked her where the idea of the Sign Painters movie came from.

I had a group of friends who started hanging out in a sign shop in Minneapolis back in the 90’s. It was through them I discovered that being a “sign painter” was actually a job. Now, 15 years later all those friends have full time sign shops and are all involved in some part of this project.

Was one of them our good friend Mike Meyer of Mike Meyer Signs?

No….but Mike is great, we were so glad to have him involved with the final project.

Will the movie help keep the lettering craft alive?

I think our movie will provide an accessible go-to for helping people understand the importance of the role sign painters have played and will continue to play in our lives.

Does she see a revival of traditional sign-making techniques?

There has definitely been a boom of interest from a younger design motivated audience over the course  of our production.

Would she ever make a sequel?

Nope.

 

Poster fo Sign Painters Movie

Hand-painted (well, duh.) poster by Jeff Canham

As with all good things, there’s also a book version:

Sign Painters Book Cover

Cover for the Sign Painters Book

Having said all of that, I must add we’ve done precious little hand-lettering at our shop. That’s because we’re primarily a carving shop. Our signs are three-dimensional. If the sign painters in this movie are fighting the vinyl cutter, we sign-carvers are rebelling against the CNC router. I hope the sign-carving craft gets a documentary too, some day!

Hand-Lettered Sign for Cafe Legato

This is the one of the few signs we’ve made with authentic hand-lettered type. The words “Cafe Legato” just didn’t want to be restricted by a paint mask. The sign hangs in San José, California. Cafe owner Rodelio said “Wow! you guys did a good job…Thank you so much and I will surely recommend you to my friends in business.”

Cafe Legato Hand-Lettered Logo

See what I mean?

And finally, to end with, a little lettering demonstration from Dan Madsen of Dusty’s Signs, (Minneapolis, Minnesota):

No that won’t be in the sign painter movie, that’s a short promo clip my friend Hunter Johnson made for me. – Dan

 

Post Signs and Free Standing Signs

Our hanging signs and free standing signs are becoming more and more popular, as our customers realize the benefit of sourcing custom metal work from the same supplier as their hand crafted signage.   These signs are ideal for the end of long driveways, providing a quality welcome statement to your property.   As you can see in the photo below they can also be ordered with mountings for a hanging flower basket to give it that added touch.

Post Sign with Flower Basket

Post Sign with Flower Basket
Free Standing Entrance Sign

Free Standing Entrance Sign

Backdrop Gherkin

Here is another business sign we did recently.  We don’t usually do installations but since this one was just down the road and  in the heart of downtown London we decided to do it ourselves to be sure it was done right.  At first glance the sign might not look that big.  In fact is is 2.85 meters long and 66 cm wide.  A little bigger than your normal house sign!  You might just be able to see that it has two joints inside the A’s at both ends but that sure does not distract from the effect of the sign.  Here are some before and after shots, unfortunately it was raining so the photos are not the best.

Anokha Old

Previous Sign

New Sign

New Sign
New Hanging Sign

New Hanging Sign

If you are ever in the area you might be interested in a meal at the Anokha Indian Bar & Restaurant.  If you are here because of your interest in signs visit our website to place an inquiry and see more of our work.