31 December 2013

sign painting film + signage in SLC

It's been a long time. About a semester, in fact. Going back to full-time school in the US has put blogging, correspondence, and pretty much anything that is not graded on hold. :)

So, the news from August: I was lucky to see a screening of The Sign Painter Movie, sponsored by the Salt Lake Film Society. Faythe Levin, one of the directors, was at the event to ask questions -- I learned that she's from Minneapolis! She said that one of the things that inspired the film was meeting sign painters in the twin cities.

If you're reading from Spain, I think there's an upcoming screening in Barcelona.

The film was about the love of a craft and its revival. I think almost everything the sign painters said in the film about why they do what they do could probably also come out of the mouth of someone involved in the revival of any other craft or trade. That's probably why I enjoyed the film so much--the 'why' of painting signs by hand isn't so far from the 'why' of the handmade book.

Craft revival is happening both in the US and in Europe right now, on a big scale ... I think it's a byproduct of digitization, like how industrialization provoked the initial arts and crafts movement. At the turn of the last century, arts and crafts spread from England to the continent and the US. I don't know where the current revival we're seeing originated, but it seems most meta cognizant in the states, where we're making documentaries about it.

Down to business: most of these photos are of downtown Salt Lake City. 

I noticed this sign for Daynes in one of the glass plate negatives I was cleaning at the lab this summer. The negative dates from 1898, so this sign has been on main street for more than a century. It's obviously been repainted since then. Doesn't it look sharp?


Art Deco eagle on the courthouse. Apparently the glass doors inside the courthouse have some nice hand lettering. 

You see this sign (and the ghost of another sign beneath it) when you take the blue line to Salt Lake Central station.

I love that this tire shop has kept some of its old signage.

This sign is on the south wall of a sandwich shop. The colors are faded but still rich.

The casket building in NE Minneapolis. Home to Leg Up Studio and lots of other great things.

Got to love the serifs here.

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