Attendees hard at work in Noel Weber’s gilding workshop
Bill Riedel, Riedel Signs, Little Ferry, New Jersey, takes a break while working on a wall sign.
One of the display areas in the museum
Another of the museums display areas—this one featuring glue-chipped glass pieces, original showcards by Bob Harper and Mike Stevens, as well as vintage sign sketches from Chicago’s Beverly Sign Co.
Ruth and Mark Oatis finish lunch while Bob Behounek and Doc Guthrie, instructor at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College do some quick shop truck designs for a fellow Letterhead.
There were plenty of easels, paints and brushes for spontaneous sign painting and demonstrations.
Michael Clark, Clark Signs, Aledo, Illinois, letters a panel.
Sign designer and longtime Chicago Union School instructor Ken Millar talks shop.
During the meet, four wall signs were painted on the walls along the museum parking lot.
Several street rods and vintage vehicles were striped, including this one by Todd Hanson, Hanson Graphix, Wauseon, Ohio, and others.
Project panel by Ken Sowinski, Monee, Illinois
The Saturday evening banquet wrapped up with inspiring presentations and plenty of laughs.
Another of the museums display areas—this one featuring glue-chipped glass pieces, original showcards by Bob Harper and Mike Stevens, as well as vintage sign sketches from Chicago’s Beverly Sign Co.
This wall project was headed up by Joe and Bill Diaz, Diaz Sign Art, Pontiac, Illinois.
Project panel by Todd Hanson, Hanson Graphix, Wauseon, Ohio

The Letterheads celebrate 40 years

By SignCraft Magazine

Posted on Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

It’s hard to imagine a more ideal setting for the 40th year International Letterheads meeting than the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio. Over 350 enthusiastic sign artisans from a half dozen countries turned out for the event September 23-27. The story of how a small group of apprentice sign painters in Denver began meeting weekly to swap ideas and learn traditional sign techniques came to symbolize a Renaissance in the industry that’s still underway.

Noel Weber, Mark Oatis, John Frazier, Rick Flores, Bob Mitchell, Mike Rielly, Earl Vehill, Mike Author, Joe Tedesco and Jim Schultz meant to rediscover techniques that were on the verge of disappearing and share their enthusiasm for creative sign making. Simultaneously they helped ignite those same desires in so many other sign makers around the world.

Cincinnati was the classic Letterhead event — five days of learning, sharing and camaraderie. There’s no way to capture it on a few pages. There were workshops (both organized and spontaneous), idea and photo sharing, story swapping and good times. The age range ran from young Los Angeles Trade Tech students to the venerable Bill Riddell. That enthusiasm brought creative sign makers from as far away as Germany, Netherlands, UK, Australia and even Aledo, Illinois (just kidding, Michael!) to be a part of it.


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