Today’s tools for learning
By Mike Jackson
Posted on Monday, August 26th, 2019
When you’re learning to hand letter, there’s not much of a replacement for watching a skilled craftsperson lay down perfect strokes with a lettering quill. Back in the early ‘80s and continuing through the ‘90s, you could do just that at one of the many Letterheads meetings. A couple of the meetings, like those in Denver and Boise, filled entire convention centers for inspired sign makers of all ages and levels of experience!
On the bookshelves behind me are hundreds of old sign painting, calligraphy, wagon and coach striping and showcard books. Many of them show the basic strokes necessary to hand letter signs. Unfortunately, I didn’t find out about those old books until after I learned to hand letter.
While I was learning to letter, I got instruction and help from a couple of good sign painters in Oklahoma City. Other than the trade magazines, there weren’t a lot of options for learning these skills unless you lived in a large city and were part of the union’s journeyman training.