Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Support Your Local Sign Painter

Josh Luke of Best Dressed Signs in Boston takes us on an inside look into the world of sign painting in this video. Luke is determined to dress up Boston one sign at a time. This past November he organized an exhibit for The Pre-Vinylite Society of sign artist's work at the Orchard Skate Shop Gallery in Boston. Luke adopted the compelling name of Pre-vinylites from the 19th Century Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, who were a group of rebellious young British artists rejecting current classical conventions of the day in exchange for a more humanizing approach of idealizing beauty, nature and color. This seems entirely fitting for a network of talented young lettering artists intent upon rebelling against the lifeless vinyl signage conventions which have sorrowfully become too familiar. It makes me happy to see many of these sign painters like Josh Luke who are elevating their accomplished skills beyond a commercial scale and into a distinguished fine art tradition. Their lettering skills and materials are many, and their palettes are far more diverse and tactile compared to most digital lettering designers. Maybe this is precisely the humanizing quality which attracts us to their work today. Below are more images from the Pre-Vinylite show. Except where noted, they are the work of Josh Luke. You can find more of his impressive signage work here.

From Damon Styer of New Bohemia Signs in San Francisco.
Colt Bowden of Salt Lake City. He claims he is influenced by his great grandfather who was a printer, linotype operator and type professor.

Joe Nitche of Nitche Signs & Graphics in Burlington, MA.


  1. That's a wonderful project to preserve the skills of sign lettering (and lettering skills in general).
    You might also like the "Hand Painted Type Project" in India as well. It is a project that is dedicated to preserving the typographic practice of street painters around India:


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