Sign Painters • Documentary
Alliance of Women Film Journalists Selection! Read an excerpt from Betsy Bozdech's AWFJ review: "You've likely heard of artisanal bread, heirloom vegetables, and bespoke clothing – but odds are you've rarely given a thought to another carefully crafted legacy product: hand-painted advertising signs. Once a fixture of Main Streets and shop windows everywhere, they've been knocked out of the mainstream by cheap, fast printing technology. But as Faythe Levine and Sam Macon's engrossing documentary SIGN PAINTERS makes clear, this is an art that still has a passionate following. Levine and Macon interview many of the sign-painting faithful, capturing their enthusiasm for color palettes, their passion for precision, and their firm belief that theirs is a skill far superior to anything a computer can produce. Anyone who finds niche subcultures interesting will be fascinated by this group of dedicated artists. Some of them are rough, some are gruff, many are unassuming while others are brashly outspoken, but they all love what they do."
With the advent of contemporary advertising came a new American craft: hand-painted signs. The sign painter wasn't an artist, but a one man ad agency adhering to the laws of type and design with the sole intention of creating a work that would endure on a wall long after a product had launched. Scaling buildings for one client after the next, these counter-cultural painters developed the style of our cities before the creation of a cheap, tech-driven advancement in vinyl lettering nearly shut them out of business. SIGN PAINTERS examines the select few painters who stuck around in the midst of dwindling demand and catalyzed a resurgence of sign painting and street art in advertising today.
“Fresh and passionate and unexpected.” –Boston Globe
DIRECTED BY FAYTHE LEVINE & SAM MACON
UNITED STATES | 2013 | ENGLISH LANGUAGE