This video piece was shot at Six Cent Press headquarters in Vancouver by Giant Ant to acknowledge their 13 years in the business and to showcase the button making process.To learn more about Six Cent Press, visit the links below:
We first met sign painter John Lennig when he participated at the second Got Craft? event back in July 2007. Almost six years later, we find ourselves sitting in his home eating coconut cupcakes and drinking tea while he chats about his career as a sign painter and shows us some of his past and present work. To celebrate the screening of the Sign Painter movie later this week, in which John makes an appearance, we asked him a few questions on how he started and what he loves most about the industry.
How long have you been a sign painter and how did you get into it?
50 years this September. After High School, at 18, I took a 1 year trade course for 2 years. I always took art classes in school and had planned on being a commercial artist. By fluke, I ended up in a sign painting course and after 1 week, I knew that ‘lettering’ was for me! Still is, more than ever! When I immigrated to Canada (Vancouver, BC) with my family, I worked in various sign shops until 1982, when I started my own shop, Brushworks. In 2000, I sold the shop and started BIG TOP Sign Arts specializing in ONLY hand painted lettering.
Was there a time when you when the industry was ‘perfect’ and there was no worry that the art of sign painting could possibly disappear? That Magic Time, up until the late 80’s, before computer cut vinyl lettering became “the way to go” (I to, bought into the system, up until 2000). The Golden Years…? the 50’s thru to the late 80’s…
Re: “disappearing” – Business didn’t disappear. It was that now customers had a much larger choice. Anybody that could type on a keyboard could create “signs”, cut vinyl lettering, and now digital prints without have the training and background in design and lettering. Prices were lowering due to “competition, while people were paying LOTS OF MONEY FOR EQUIPMENT so that they could make signs faster and charge less!
Obviously, cost drives many clients, and hand lettering is not cheaper than vinyl lettering. That said, there is a place for vinyl/digital work. Hand lettering has been having a real comeback in recent years, which pleases me very much! Creating/producing something that others can’t produce sets you apart from the mass produced work, but it will never go back to “how it was”.
Are there any resources that you can recommend for somebody that wanted to learn the technical details of sign painting?Resources are hard to find. YouTube… various DVD’s on hand lettering… Pierre Tardiff in Quebec teaches hand lettering classes… Los Angeles Trade Technical in LA, taught by “Doc” Guthrie is a fantastic two year course that has been operating since 1926. I visited them last February and this is an awesome course / facilities – the REAL DEAL!
For those unfamiliar with sign painting, what kind of tools do you use?
Core Tools: lettering brushes
Optional: Mahl Stick, sign painting enamel, layout paper, projector/opaque or overhead, lots of alphabet books/sign books (always be on the lookout in used book stores!!)
YOU DON’T NEED A COMPUTER TO MAKE SIGNS OR DESIGN THEM, but you do need a good understanding of design. Get Mike Stephen’s book Mastering Layout…the BEST BOOK OUT THERE…period!!
Love typography and the handmade movement? We are excited to celebrate the tradition and the time honoured art of sign painting by hosting the Canadian premiere of the documentary, the Sign Painter Movie by Faythe Levine and Sam Macon on Friday, June 7th and Saturday, June 8th at the Rio Theatre in Vancouver.
Here are the details:
Friday, June 7th and Saturday, June 8th, 2013
doors at 6:30pm | screening at 7:30pm | Q+A to follow with Faythe Levine and Sam Macon Rio Theatre – 1660 East Broadway, Vancouver
Tickets $20.00 in advance | $25.00 at the door (19+ only)
I was searching for egg cups on Etsy this morning and came across Jess Quinn Small Art. Using fabric, paint, and clay; she creates original works of art, handcrafted gifts, and small accessories for the home.
“Welcome to my shop, I am Jess Quinn and this is a collection of my own designs, made by myself, I draw, sculpt, sew and paint. I love using a variety of materials, The collection is fluid, always developing, most items are one of a kind, I hope you enjoy my creations as much as I have enjoyed making them.”
These cross stitch necklaces by Lisa Anderson Shaffer, the designer of Zelma Rose design are absolutely stunning.
“When I sit down in my studio to design for Zelma Rose, I reference a kaleidoscope of ideas and images. As an artist, I am a hunter and a gatherer. A visual editor, a collector, a cultivator, and a farmer of ideas and design. Sometimes a design will come to fruition in a single afternoon, other times it is the careful cultivation of successes and failures over the span of a year.”
Inspired by quality craftsmanship and storytellers, Lisa comes from a long lineage of seamstresses and carpenters who believe, in her words, that function + quality + artistry = beautiful design. We couldn’t agree more!
Hello! We are a husband and wife team that share a love for a good cup of coffee and a slice of Victoria sponge. This is where we share our work, our travels, snippets of our everyday life, and most important, the things we ♥.