At school in the forth year I chose to do my work experience at a Sign writers shop. I imagined being on a tall ladder, against the side of a magnificent truck, painting deep red and gold elaborate lettering, using one of those funny stickes with a ball on the end to steady the hand. The lettering would have shape and would appear to stand proud of the huge truck side with non realistic yet aesthetically pleasing shadows.
But someone else got that week, and I went to an ‘advertising’ agency who basically amended lists of cars for sale in the paper. They got me (physically) cutting letters out of photocopied Letraset books, and pasting them to make an advert for some rubbish product. As by the time I studied graphic design we used the early(ish) macs, I have no idea if they were taking the p**s or if that’s what design was then!
But even though I might have ended up as a large format printer (zzZZ – no offence to all the good LF printers we work with!), I still wonder how a week at a signwriter would have influenced me.
I was reminded of this by seeing this van in traffic this morning. It is not hand painted but hints at the traditional look of a commercial vehicle lettering. If I was a large format printer, I think I’d want to hand paint it still!