We see them every day, but few give them any thought.
Signs, especially hand painted signs, are an integral part of any landscape. Some may be quietly fading with time (hello, Ghost Signs) while others may be so prominent that they seem to pop off the sides of buildings (Kay Rosen’s sunny yellow Go Do Good, anyone?). All speak to a widely unacknowledged art form that blends typographic artisanship with a nearly 150 year history of a craft. Increasingly, as traditional sign painting continues to face changes and challenges at the onset of quicker, faster, cheaper sign production methods that ultimately sacrifice quality for a quick fix.
On Tuesday, September 9, The Society of Typographic Arts and Creative Pulse Chicago are presenting an evening highlighting Sign Painters, a documentary directed by Faythe Levine and Sam Macon discussing the past, present, and future of the art of sign painting and addressing the art form’s future in an age of digital speed, all from interviews and studio and site visits with both industry veterans and up-and-coming artists.
Immediately following the screening will be a special event: a Q&A session with Chicago-area sign painters Bob Behounek, Jeff Williams, and Pat Finley (who are all featured in the film), in conversation with Chicago’s original sign painters and muralists, Ches Perry. The doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the film screening starts at 6:15 p.m. with the panel immediately following. Student members of the Society of Typographic Arts can get tickets for $10.00.
Here’s the trailer for the film: