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The Lost Art of Painting a Sign

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Wander down any highway as recently as 30 years ago, and you'd be confronted by storefronts, banners and billboards that were all hand painted. Sadly that tradition has declined—but this amazing documentary attempts to shed light on the lost art of sign painting.

As with any industry, technology brings change—but in the case of sign painting, that's meant decline in an industry that brought a touch of individuality to any place a sign stood. Directors Faythe Levine & Sam Macon explain:

[L]ike many skilled trades, the sign industry has been overrun by the techno-fueled promise of quicker and cheaper. The resulting proliferation of computer-designed, die-cut vinyl lettering and inkjet printers has ushered a creeping sameness into our landscape. Fortunately, there is a growing trend to seek out traditional sign painters and a renaissance in the trade.


This trailer for Sign Painters promises great things for a documentary that's set to showcase the amazing talents of those who still practice the art. Taking in two dozen painters working in cities throughout the United States, it's a celebration of quality, craftsmanship and artistic flair. And it makes me want to pick up a paintbrush so, so bad. [Sign Painters via Boing Boing]