Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hand Did

There's nothing quite like a hand-painted sign. The craft and precision it takes to actually paint perfect letters onto the side of a building and make it look like it was some kind of decal or stencil amazes me. It wasn't until I was in design school that I realized I had a love for this art form. A teacher of mine had us travel around Atlanta and take pictures of hand-painted signs. At the time I thought it was pointless and unnerving, since I had just moved to the city and wasn't sure of my bearings, let alone which neighborhoods to visit where I wouldn't have the potential of being robbed or car-jacked. (I suppose I was a bit more skittish back then). But after meandering around the city for an hour or two, I realized how much of this signage was actually out there and how much I really enjoyed looking for it. Growing up in suburbia everything was new and plastic and neon, but in the city, everything seemed more raw, imperfect and dirty. I was hooked. I have no clue what I did with those original pictures. I'm sure they are sitting on a hard drive somewhere, never to be viewed again. But ever since that day, I've taken to looking for old signage and the south has some of the best signs out there. Here are some old-school signs:

Can you believe how amazed I was when I was in Mexico and saw that everything was hand-painted! It was beautiful. Here are some signs from my honeymoon in May :

Yes, this truck was hand painted. I wish my zoom would have worked better to see the brush strokes!

A hand-painted street sign.

This was on the beach, so people wouldn't step on the sea turtle nests.

I'd like to think that all of these tid-bits of inspiration seep into my and Jen's brain and trickle out when it comes time to create new invitations. So, you can imagine how excited we were when our newest client asked for a southern twist to her rehearsal dinner invitations, even though she and her fiance now live in Australia. The bride is originally from Florida and they are getting married near her home town in October. Even though the groom's family is from England, they elected to have a southern buffet for the rehearsal dinner. (which was a nice gesture, if you ask me, since English food really isn't on my top list of fav ethnic foods.) We created a few options to emphasize the beachy aspect of the dinner location, but were really happy when the bride and groom chose the one option that really stood out in our minds. Perhaps I was subconsciously working while I was on my honeymoon, taking in all the beautiful signs. Or I was digging into my design past to recreate what started my sign obsession. Either way, we think it turned out to be a pretty sweet design.