Sign Painters Documentary




Some of you may remember filmmaker Faythe Levine for her 2009 documentary, Handmade Nation (also a book, published by Princeton Architectural Press). Since 2010, Levine and her filmmaking partner Sam Macon have been researching, following, interviewing and filming sign painters for their latest film: Sign Painters. Faythe Levine (incidentally a close friend of mine!) is profoundly interested in the significance and endurance of craft in our culture. This film takes a deep look at one craft — its history, its people, its techniques & its future.

The film is nothing if it’s not timely. The world of hand sign painting began to wilt with the invention of vinyl letters in 1982. And now, with the birth of new technologies, the art is under an even greater chance of extinction with even more cheaper, quicker alternatives to hand painted techniques. And, yet, to many of us, there is nothing as beautiful as a bold and colorful hand painted sign, large or small.


{Levine and Macon}

It may be this attraction to the aesthetic that drew Levine and Macon to the subject matter in the first place, and sign painting’s uncertain future (along with its cast of characters) makes for what looks like a brilliant, compelling film. Here’s the trailer:

The film is now also a book (also published by Princeton). In addition, Levine and Macon are currently booking screenings (US and abroad) for 2013. You can find out when the film is coming to your town (or a town near you) by checking the event page on their website (they’ll be adding dates and locations as they book them), or to follow them on Twitter & Facebook. The film will be released in theaters later this month.

Happy Wednesday.


CATEGORIES: Inspiration