108. Atkinson Sign Painting.
Jul 7, 2007 at 02:05PM
jj in Features

atkinson.jpgThis is great. The ACD here at Erwin-Penland let me borrow this fantastic book on sign painting, "Atkinson Sign Painting - A Complete Manual / Self Educational." It is truly a find. It contains lessons on materials and process, many examples of signs and hand crafted advertisements, as well as my favorite - about seventy 'alphabets.' This particular book (from 1915) is not in great shape and I'm currently searching for my own copy. I've posted a few pictures so you can get a feel for the content. 

View photos of the book, HERE. (The pages are badly deteriorating, but I adjusted the values of the photos to better show the detail of the work.)

This book connected a bunch of various information that I've been carrying around in my sketchbook for awhile. It was an inspiration for one of my favorite new fonts, Fairplex by Zuzana Licko. Also, many of the alphabets have been digitally recreated as fonts by the Letterhead Fonts foundry, some of which I had already purchased for a project or two not knowing their origin. Awhile ago, I had come across the group called Letterheads, who view themselves as the keepers of the craft of sign painting. I did not notice initially that Frank Atkinson was so highly regarded or that his books were so amazing. (Not to mention rare.) You might also want to check out the American Sign Museum's Permanent Collection. Silly me, but I'm happy to have connected the dots on this stuff. It's always enjoyable to be able to share this kind of stuff.

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