Sign painting

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Sign painters create a new sign on the walls of the Figueroa Hotel in Los Angeles, California

Sign painting is the art of painting lettering on buildings, billboards or signboards performed by signwriters for the purpose of announcing or advertising products, services and events.

History[edit]

Sign painting is a learned craft with a long history. Practitioners often acquired the craft through apprenticeship or trade school, although many early sign painters were self-taught.[1][2] The Sign Graphics program at the Los Angeles Trade Technical College program is the last remaining sign painting program in the United States.[3]

Sign painting skills are varied and complex. Manipulation of a lettering brush is fundamental to sign painting and can take years to develop[4][5][6].

In the 1970s, with the advent of computer software, traditional hand-lettering faced stiff competition from computer-controlled sign-making machines[7][8]. Interest in the craft waned during the 1970s, 80s and 90s, but hand-lettering and traditional sign painting have experienced a resurgence in popularity in recent years. [9][10]

The 2012 book and documentary, Sign Painters[11] by Faythe Levine and Sam Macon, chronicle the historical changes and current state of the sign painting industry through personal interviews with contemporary sign painters.

Old painted signs which fade but remain visible are known as ghost signs. [12]

Techniques[edit]

There are a number of other associated skills and techniques as well, including gold leafing (surface and glass), carving (in various mediums), glue-glass chipping, stencilling, and silk-screening.[citation needed]

Further research[edit]

Turvey, Lisa (April 2012). "An American Language". Artforum International. 50: 218–9.

Swezy, Tim (February 25, 2014). "One Shot Seen 'Round the World: A Survey of Sign Painting on the Internet (Part of AIGA Raleigh - the oldest and largest professional organization for Design)". AIGA Raleigh. Retrieved April 21, 2020.

Childs, Mark C. (2016). The Zeon files : art and design of historic Route 66 signs. Babcock, Ellen D., 1957-. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. ISBN 978-0-8263-5603-1. OCLC 944156236.

Auer, Michael (1991). The Preservation of Historic Signs. Washington, D.C: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Cultural Resources, Preservation Assistance.

Jakle, John A. (2004). Signs in America's auto age : signatures of landscape and place. Sculle, Keith A. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press. ISBN 1-58729-482-6. OCLC 66385186.

References[edit]

  1. ^ de Orellana, Margarita; Salceda, José Emilio; Suderman, Michelle; Ashwell, Anamaría; Eguibar, Enrique Soto; Vargas, Rafael; Derais, Jill; Velasco, Manuel; Cárdenas, María Luisa; Narvarte, Adán; Troconi, Giovanni (2009). "Sign Painting: The 'other' Muralism". Artes de México (95): 65–80. ISSN 0300-4953. JSTOR 24318854.
  2. ^ "The Craft of Hand Painted Signs | Craftsmanship Magazine". The Craftsmanship Initiative. 2017-04-17. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  3. ^ Bloom, Ester (2016-01-25). "The Revival of America's Hand-Painted-Sign Industry". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  4. ^ Levine, Faythe, 1977- (2013). Sign painters. Macon, Sam. New York: Princeton Architectural Press. ISBN 978-1-61689-083-4. OCLC 785071832.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ "The Craft of Hand Painted Signs | Craftsmanship Magazine". The Craftsmanship Initiative. 2017-04-17. Retrieved 2020-05-04.
  6. ^ Bloom, Ester (2016-01-25). "The Revival of America's Hand-Painted-Sign Industry". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  7. ^ "The Craft of Hand Painted Signs | Craftsmanship Magazine". The Craftsmanship Initiative. 2017-04-17. Retrieved 2020-05-04.
  8. ^ Bloom, Ester (2016-01-25). "The Revival of America's Hand-Painted-Sign Industry". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  9. ^ Studebaker, Bob. "What's Old Is New: Traditional Sign Painting Is In Demand Again". www.wesa.fm. Retrieved 2020-04-21.
  10. ^ Bloom, Ester (2016-01-25). "The Revival of America's Hand-Painted-Sign Industry". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2020-04-21.
  11. ^ Levine, Faythe, 1977- (2013). Sign painters. Macon, Sam. New York: Princeton Architectural Press. ISBN 978-1-61689-083-4. OCLC 785071832.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ Cianci, Lisa; Schutt, Stefan (2014-01-02). "Keepers of Ghosts: old signs, new media and the age of archival flux". Archives and Manuscripts. 42 (1): 19–32. doi:10.1080/01576895.2014.886514. ISSN 0157-6895.


See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Digitised textbooks: