Sign painter has excellent penmanship


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Fascinating to see how he throws standard stroke order out the window when he has to to get good results!


I know someone who does sign painting and pin-striping and is probably about that good. She is supposed to be making me a “coat of arms”-esque commission.


That is some crazy stuff. I always assumed they just printed those (I’ve worked on big wide printers that do actually print those for outside use). The craziest thing is how he manages to keep his lines perfectly level and his horizontal spacing consistent. I know from personal experience how hard it is to do that unless you can see the whole thing - my lines always veer off.

Also, like @Neovison.vison says, screw standard stroke order, we’re going to left to right top to bottom. Can’t argue with the results.


Certainly in the US, it is a dying art.


I will never forget my grandfather the sign painter giving me his industry magazines when they started being dominated by computer based systems.

When I visited Yangon Myanmar there was a whole block of businesses hand cutting vinyl and plastic sign letters. Free form often. It was beautiful.


This used to be a common occupation. I remember my dad had an old sign from the 30’s hanging in his workshop that was hand-painted, and I never thought it was impressive until I realized it was done by hand-- you see something that neat and clean and think a machine was involved.


Highly recommend this book about the sign painting industry and scenes across the US. It’s full of cantankerous old dudes who are a little salty that they can’t get lead-based One Shot paint any more, and have a complete contempt for vinyl sign cutters. The documentary it accompanies is also pretty great.


My uncle-in-law is a very talented sign painter/maker. He’s also a racist dickwad.


What if segregation was caused by a cabal of racist sign makers to drum up business?


Reminds me of the 99% Invisible story on hand painted signs. Pretty incredible that all signs used to be made this way, going back to antiquity.


I don’t possess the energy to flesh this theory out further but I will add that he lives in whitey-mcwhite New Hampshire, so there’s that…


The Live Free or Die state? How ironic…


I feel ashamed to note that despite my painting skill, I still can’t script for bupkes.
My painting signature looks like the scrawl of a five-year-old.
Hmmmm, maybe I could hire someone to sign my paintings?


We moved to South Florida after I had graduated from high school, and I found a job in a little mom & pop shop. My boss’s father had worked in NYC 50+ years, hand painting signs. He painted some for his son’s shop while he was down visiting his son and his family, and it was almost hypnotic watching him work.

He put his money into rental properties in New York and cheaply and illegally partitioned the apartments into places not much bigger than walk-in closets and rented them to poor immigrants. So he was pretty much a slumlord. But he could do brush lettering like a god of ink and paint.

(His son - my old boss, also took some illegal shortcuts in his business dealings and ended up in prison for nine or ten years after I had gone off to college. His wife was complicit in the shenanigans as well, and also ended up doing a few years in prison.)


Wow, he’s great. I’ve sometimes played around with a fountain pen, trying to improve my penmanship, but I can’t imagine being that good.

I enjoyed this other video, too: A five-minute micro-documentary about an old-school maker of hand-painted signs, making a living in modern times.


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