Homage To The Tradition Of Sign Painting

Matthias J. E. Horneman-Thielcke
17 Jun 2012
Size: A3 (A2 spread) / Handmade covers & cassettes
Example of A0 poster (printed on tracing paper)
Example of A0 poster (printed on tracing paper)
Example of A0 poster (printed on tracing paper)
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This project is an Homage to the tradition and the legacy of sign painting. It celebrates the manual way of drawing and painting letters for signs by hand. It celebrates the old sign painting craftsmanship, sign painting techniques and interprets this way of thinking and working in a modern, experimental and tactile way.

For my Homage I have designed six different sans serif typefaces with inspiration from lettering displayed on old signs and facades in Copenhagen. I have analysed the methods and the theory behind the creation of modular letters, ligatures and spacing and thereby designed a "Lettering-key" and an underlying grid, in order to create flexible typefaces that can fit into various contexts.

The typefaces are designed from the characteristics of the category "Lettering". Lettering is characterised by sharing the common trait of being conceived as accurate solutions to specific purposes.

The six typefaces are named "Schild Maler Grotesk" (Face 01- Face 06) and they are primarily to be used in a display context such as signage, editorial design or poster design. The typefaces have a wide range of possibilities for use, concerning heights and widths. I have also designed a series of pictograms and ornaments that relates to the key and the grid and thereby the manual starting point.

Beside "Schild Maler Grotesk" my Homage is an A3 manual, which primarily functions as a type specimen showing the typeface family in an artistic, experimental and tactile way. It also contains a user manual in which it is possible to try out the key and the grid by hand and the many possibilities for creating different letters using this technique. In this way the manual reference of drawing letters is kept alive and honoured.

Additionally my Homage also includes a series of interactive posters displaying the typefaces along with infographic elements showing and telling the story of the old techniques used by sign painters.

Always look back in order to look ahead...