This illustrated history of hand-lettered painted signs across America, and the craftspeople who created them, is“a lovely paean to a vanishing art” (TheNew York Times).
There was a time—as recently as the 1980s—when storefronts, murals, banners, barn signs, billboards, and even street signs were all hand-lettered with brush and paint. But, like many skilled trades, the sign industry has been overrun by the techno-fueled promise of quicker and cheaper. The resulting proliferation of computer-designed, die-cut vinyl lettering and inkjet printers has ushered a creeping sameness into our visual landscape.
Fortunately, there is a growing trend to seek out traditional sign painters and a renaissance in the trade. In 2010 filmmakers Faythe Levine, coauthor of Handmade Nation, and Sam Macon began documenting these dedicated practitioners, their time-honored methods, and their appreciation for quality and craftsmanship. Sign Painters, the first anecdotal history of the craft, features stories and photographs of more than two dozen sign painters working in cities throughout the United States.
“This is not only a wonderful book, a delight to take in, rich and telling in its details and a visual pleasure with its gorgeous photography. It’s an important book that captures a largely untold story.” —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel