The staff of Half Moon pub in Herne Hill in south London maintain a pseudonymous list of customers who are permanently banned from the premises; their colorful descriptions are a thing of beauty. Read the rest
Justin Green is the author of the classic Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary, an underground comix autobiography about growing up Catholic and OCD. Sadly, creating brilliant underground comix doesn't provide the most stable of incomes, so in the mid-1970s – with a family to support – Green went into business as a commercial sign painter.
Sign painting, or "commercial brush lettering," evolved over hundreds of years and is probably the earliest form of advertising. But by the 1980s – when Green was seriously devoting himself to the business – it was being eclipsed by computer type and cheap printed vinyl signs. Master sign-painters were aging out and few young craftspeople were taking up the brush, so Green started his monthly comic strip "Sign Game" (collected here) to record some of this hard-won knowledge before it disappeared.
The early strips tell how Green found his footing; including the one-thousand hours required to brush a perfect "O." In later strips he requested techniques and stories from veteran brushmen. They offered priceless knowledge like how to mix your paint so it stays put under the hot sun or how much arm-twisting to apply when a client lets an invoice sit for too long. Some of these sign painters became recurring characters in "Sign Game," and a few died during its run leaving these strips – and a few fading signs – as their final memorial.
Like a great sign, Green's strips are dense with information, lettered in classic historical styles, yet easy to follow. Read the rest
Here's how it works: Just send us a tweet or text (use the text field in the order form) We’ll carefully translate it into cuneiform We'll stamp it on an actual clay tablet and mail it to you. Favorite jokes? Amazing pickup lines? Your 2-star review of last summer's blockbuster? KEEP IT FOREVER.
$20 a go. They should at least insist on it having been publicly posted! [via JWZ]
Someone has put high-quality signs on park benches in a fancy British town to mock its contemptuous treatment of locals, especially the poor. The signs have been removed, on the grounds that they might be "offensive."
Rebellious plaques have been situated on benches in Chester with the intention of highlighting Cheshire West and Chester Council’s 'draconian plans' to introduce a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO).
Two street artists have placed the plaques on benches across Chester city centre 'in good grace' to raise awareness of the plight of homelessness in the city… One of the plaques put up by the artists say: “If you shut your eyes for more than ten seconds whilst on this bench, you may be deemed asleep, and risk facing an ASBO. By Order of Public Space Protection Orders under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.” A more humorous plaque says: “This bench is dedicated to the men who lost the will to live whilst following their partners around the shoe shops of Chester.”
The key quote is from a local official, Maria Byrne, who said: “We have removed the plaques from five benches and although they may appear humorous, some people may find them offensive."
But without, of course, specifying who.
Someone in JWZ's building put up a "THIS BUILDING IS MONITORED BY CLOSED-CIRCUIT CAMERAS" sign in the lobby where only the residents and their guests go, so he's been updating it with messages like "FEAR THE UNKNOWN - MONSTERS ARE REAL." Read the rest
Sign Painters looks to be a fascinating book and documentary about the traditional art and craft of hand-drawn signage that is being lost to digital prints and die-cut vinyl. The film is playing at venues around the US right now, including this Sunday (7/27) at the Webb Gallery in Waxahachie, Texas! Read the rest
It starts with "NO 'TELEPHONES'. TALK TO EACH OTHER. FACE TO FACE ONLY. WRITE A LETTER, SEND A TELEGRAM TO YOUR MOM, PRETEND IT'S 1860, LIVE." Read the rest
My family always thought the sign for Met-L-Fab Inc in Cincinnati's ritzy Indian Hill neighborhood looked like it said "Meth Lab." Now it does. (Thanks Rick, Max, and Madeleine!)
From Adam R. Bowser's Nova Scotia-based Twitter feed, a timely retail sign: "Due to the rising summer temperatures...We will NOT accept any BOOB or SOCK money! Sorry for the inconvenience! It's gross. Thanks."
I feel ALL corner stores should have this policy. pic.twitter.com/WZPlLJBhcD— Adam R. Bowser (@TeamAdam76) June 17, 2014