The Baltimore Sign Project, 2013

  •    The Baltimore Sign Project, 2013 
     
       The uniqueness of Baltimore’s hand lettered commercial signs inspired my project. I decided to attempt to capture some of the warmth, texture and personality of such signs with my sketchbook , camera and later through lino cuts. This project took me through many neighbourhoods of Baltimore ( Fells Point, Mount Vernon, Bolton Hill) where I was taken by the variety of typographic styles. The search for such signs also served to introduce me to the diversity of neighbourhoods and commercial areas of the City of Baltimore. This exploration also led me to expanding my knowledge and appreciation of lettering styles and hand lettered typography.
     
       For my project I chose five signs, from the many I observed, to duplicate into linocut. I first duplicated them, by hand in graphite, then I carved them out of lino and then printed them with a variety of colours using a printing press. By making the prints by hand I was attempting to be loyal to the initial craftsman and their dedication to making beautiful and informative signs. The process I undertook was one characterized by mistakes and learning on my part. It ended in success with small prints that have captured the feel and warmth of hand lettered signs so prevalent in Baltimore. I am also pleased that the size and format of my prints make them adaptable as gifts, postcards or for small presentations. Such prints serve me as tokens of my time in Baltimore and as appreciation for the artists who created them.