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Sign Painters Paperback – October 24, 2012
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"A lovely paean to a vanishing art... Ms. Levine and Mr. Macon have hopscotched the country, interviewing many of the best remaining old-school sign painters and printing their best work... This book, with an introduction by the artist Ed Ruscha, is a funky and necessary work of preservation." -- New York Times
"With hand-painted signs rapidly going the way of the film camera, documentarians Levine and Macon offer a welcome look at some of the remaining artists and their work, which adorns storefronts, walls and billboards. New Yorker Stephen Powers began as a graffiti artist; Las Vegas painters Mark and Rosie Oatis met in sign school; Ernie Gosnell, in Seattle, learned the trade as a teen from a sign-painting lady wrestler who "tattooed a little bit on the side." It's a toss-up as to what's better - these characters or their art." -- New York Post
"This is not only a wonderful book, a delight to take in, rich and telling in its details and a visual pleasure with its gorgeous photography. It's an important book that captures a largely untold story." -- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Sign Painters is a great source of inspiration about this often-overlooked industry, and a good reminder to pay a little extra attention while out in the city, on the highway, or wherever. Beautiful hand-painted signs are everywhere." -- Smithsonian.com
"Full of stunning full-color shots of finished signs and works-in-progress of folks from San Francisco and Iowa City to Mazeppa and Boston. Even artist Ed Ruscha gets in on the action." -- Fast Company
"Every now and again, a book comes my way on a topic that is utterly and completely unexpected. Faythe Levine and Sam Macon's Sign Painters is the sort of artistic celebration that should be commonplace on the shelves.this is graphic design at its best; these signs command attention, enliven the landscape, and bring customers in... good stuff, and damned inspiring." -- Bookslut
"As lovingly hand made as the signs it celebrates... What comes across clearly is the respect for good work, letter by letter, that helps their clients' businesses succeed. This book captures the renaissance of the sign painter." --- Juxtapoz
"Artist Clark Byers may not be a household name, but if you've lived or traveled in the southeast U.S., you're probably familiar with his work. Byers, whose death in 2004 was commemorated with an obituary in the New York Times, painted the advertising slogan, "See Rock City," on the roofs of more than 900 barns from the late 1930s until the 1960s. Byers' and other artists' signs inspired filmmakers Sam Macon and Faythe Levine's great new book, Sign Painters, an homage to the craft and its craftsmen (and a great gift for the Americana-lover on your holiday shopping list)." -- Reader's Digest
About the Author
Since graduating from High School Faythe Levine hasn t stopped working on project after project. Her interest in outsider communities, artists and the stories and people whom often get overlooked have propelled her to travel extensively. The constant in Faythe s 20 years of creative work is her dedication to documenting her day to day life and travels through photographs and correspondence (once handwritten letters, now more commonly through social networking sites). This dedication has allowed her creative community to have an international reach full of a variety of both famous and infamous people of all types. Sam Macon is a filmmaker. He directs television commercials, music videos, short form documentaries and Web based video content through production company Radar Studios. He also helms commercial projects in Paris through Cosa Productions and in Moscow with Bazaleves Films. He is currently working on the feature length documentary Sign Painters. In addition to directing, Sam has taught video production at the Chicago Portfolio School and has been a guest lecturer at DePaul University and Syracuse University.
Top customer reviews
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The 2 negatives is I feel there are 1) many, MANY veteran sign painters that paved the way since the 50's, 60's and 70's that didn't even get acknowledgment as those guys were the ones that should have been interviewed or recognized. No Mention of Mike Stevens?.Not the ones that do it as a 'hobby' that just picked up a brush a year ago and are self taught. The great old times were left (out aside from a few.,,Keith, RIP).. The 2nd is there are SO MANY bad examples on 'professional' lettering and sign work throughout that I'm afraid people will try to copy. Bad spacing, bad layout, wrong shading, wrong lettering. ( the cover alone has a few mistakes). I'm glad there is a book to show modern interest, I just wish a bit more research and homework was done prior.
A very interesting read with great pictures and interviews. Not just commentary on current practices, but some explanation of why there are so few real sign painters left. Even if you aren't in the trade of sign painting or lettering, it is a good look into a unique trade that I hope never goes extinct.