(Direct link to video) Directors Faythe Levine and Sam Macon documented the stories of sign painters who still follow the traditional methods of lettering by hand. Here's the trailer for their documentary "Sign Painters," the first anecdotal history of the craft, featuring the stories of more than two dozen sign painters, young and old, working throughout the United States.
"There was a time, as recently as the 1980s, when storefronts, murals, banners, barn signs, billboards, and even street signs were all hand-lettered with brush and paint. But, like 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."
Book related to the project: Sign Painters by Faythe Levine
Documentary website: signpaintermovie.com
Previously on GurneyJourney: "Hand Painted Signs" and "Irish Hand Painted Signs"
Documentary "Up There" about artists who paint murals on buildings (thanks, Marney Morris)
There are several Flickr groups devoted to this subject:
“Hand-Painted Signs of the World.”
“Signpaintr,” dedicated to the lost art of hand-lettering
“Hand-Painted Signs of Cambodia.”