Tuesday, March 06, 2012

sign painting

The focus of my current research project for the Visual Culture course that I am currently taking is the current resurgence of hand painted signage. One of my primary cases studies that I have been using as an example is the company Colossal Media who have successfully established themselves as purveyors of hand painted outdoor media. Their work can be seen in several of the U.S.'s major markets and is (I believe) contributing to the medium's reemergence. Watch this video and you'll understand. One thing that I think has assisted in the public's* sudden interest is the focus on the process. The development of these works become an installation piece and we can very easily attach a face to the work being created. This skill straddles the line between the fine art and the graphic design, especially when used for advertisements like the work of Colossal Media. It is ironic that I compare this skill to the fine arts because historically and even contemporarily it is rare that those who possess this undeniable skill are considered "artists" in the traditional sense of the term,  instead labeled as craftsmen. This idea of a "craftsman" is also of great interest to me but that is a topic for another time. Primarily because I need to complete a lot more reading on that topic to fully form my opinion. But I digress. I feel that I have happened upon this subject at just the right time because many within my university community (and definitely outside of Savannah too, such as this, this, and this) are also thinking about it.

However, this is also somewhat unfortunate because I would always like to hope that my ideas are new and different but nay, they are not. This brings about another question, though maybe not question but proof, that you are indeed a product of your surroundings. While I don't think sign painting has become a sudden interest to me it has definitely become a new research interest and I wonder how much of that is affected by my surroundings. What have I seen, heard or been exposed to that nudged me in this direction?

*I say public but then quickly realize that as a graduate graphic design student my knowledge of "public" is very skewed. So let's consider this just my small corner of the public.

image from Colossal Media.

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