Sign Language.


For this week’s City Paper cover story, I tracked down some of Charleston’s old-school sign painters. This was no easy task, because many of the painters have retired.

Created by a small and informal guild of specialty artists, these signs represent an art form that’s slowly fading away as its practitioners settle into retirement. Business was better for them years ago when hand-painted signs dominated the streetscape, but these days they’re in the minority — and they’re becoming increasingly rare. Most modern businesses opt for cheaper and easier vinyl lettering and digital printing, but there are still a few painters who work to keep the old methods alive. And they hope to pass their skills on to a new generation when they finally do hang up their paintbrushes.

You can read the full story here.

(P.S. The article was inspired by this highly recommended book/documentary.)