Graphic Design In the Wild – Day 18: Antioch Church

The handed painted sign of the Antioch Church in downtown Dallas is a beacon of leading craft.

The shapes, a cross and an arrow combined, are simple. But I stand in awe at how the designer/painter (I really hope they’re the same person) set the leading so precisely. The spacing between the letters is set to near perfection.

But remember, this is the side of a brick building. Not a collection of Photoshop layers.

There’s no control z. A mistake at this scale is a physical cost. A cost the designer/painter was willing to bear.

Graphic Design In the Wild – Day 12: Trader Joe’s In-Store Signage

Trader Joe’s first opened in 1967. The grocery store chain has a gained a cult following by being well, weird.

One way this manifests is, Trader Joe’s hires crew members (grocers) with artistic talent to paint and letter their in-store murals and signs.

These murals and signs are unique to the specific location of the store. Each Trader Joe location customizes their interior signage based on the city they’re in.

A posted job listing for a sign artist read like this:

If you have experience in art including penmanship, working with chalk and large signage, we’d love to meet you. We can teach you the rest.

Graphic Design In the Wild – Day 3: Papa Lopez Mexican Cantina Restroom Signage

I can’t resist hand-painted lettering. A steady hand and brush can enliven any space. Even a restroom hallway.

Papa Lopez Cantina understands this. It would’ve been cheaper, and still effective, to slap the old Men and Women restroom signage to the doors. But somebody in the Papa Lopez art department believed in better.

Look close. You can still see the paint drying.

At the Office

Hand painted signs needn’t always be majestic, 8-bit thunderbirds.

They can be six, bold, black letters adorning a concrete wall.

As the art critic Jerry Saltz says:

But for almost its entire history, art has been a verb, something that does things to or for you, that makes things happen.

How to be an Artist 33 Rules to take you from clueless amateur to generational talent (or at least help you live life a little more creatively). Vulture Guides, Nov. 27, 2018, Jerry Saltz

Art can simply exist to do something for you. Like reminding you you’re outside the office.