Practice Makes Perfect

Five-color Risograph test prints of overprints of painted lettering
Print tests for a forthcoming project collecting my original hand painted lettering practice sheets

My journey to learn the art and craft of sign painting began through a workshop at New Bohemia Signs in San Francisco and carried on through further workshops with master sign painter John Downer and lettering artist Ken Barber from House Industries. I was looking for more tactile experiences to expand my design vocabulary and equally that could influence its output.

In the years following, I’ve painted many, many practice sheets of alphabets as a way to improve technique and develop muscle memory. Most sheets have only been seen by a few people, usually catching me in the moment and often without ever seeing the finished result. And that’s fine — these were just for me anyway.

But as I’ve been trying to make space for new things in my archives, I’ve considered what to do with them. What story do they tell? Are they worth keeping for historical or sentimental reasons? Should I scan some of them and see what new form they could take and whether that’s interesting?

And that’s exactly where the above came from. Stay tuned for more.