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Author Previous Topic: Walthers Brick Kilns, etc Topic Next Topic: Airbrush Brand Experiences
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Orionvp17
Fireman

Premium Member

Posted - 05/04/2015 :  12:17:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bill,

I somehow missed this one.

Fabulous job! And on the float as well! Y'all done good!

But if Barnacle Bob goes to Noo Beff to see this, he'll drive right by on the way. Last time I looked, she was at the Mystic Seaport, in Connecticut....


Pete
in Michigan



Country: USA | Posts: 7272 Go to Top of Page

Bill Gill
Fireman



Posted - 05/04/2015 :  4:16:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Pete. Yup, the Morgan is at Mystic Seaport, but last year she made a historic voyage, after several years of restoration to make her seaworthy again. She went to Boston and the whaling grounds off Cape Cod, with stops along the way including New Bedford. I sent you a PM a couple days ago in your reply to yours.


Country: USA | Posts: 3047 Go to Top of Page

GrandTrunk
Engine Wiper

Posted - 05/04/2015 :  6:28:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
>>With that came an awareness that many model signs, even on award winning models, have generic lettering that doesn’t fit their time or place as well it might.

That's a real sore point for me. I follow the English model magazines a bit, and many's the time I see a great model except the lettering is done with Helvetica Letraset. That font immediately says Letraset to my eye. My father was a signwriter so I developed an interest in fonts and design. Another common failing is a sign where the lettering only takes up half the area of the sign. Old school signwriters generally made the lettering big enough to fill the available space.



Country: Canada | Posts: 115 Go to Top of Page

Orionvp17
Fireman

Premium Member

Posted - 05/04/2015 :  6:49:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
And how about the sign with the 1995 font on the 1924-era layout?

Pete
in Michigan



Country: USA | Posts: 7272 Go to Top of Page

Bill Gill
Fireman



Posted - 05/04/2015 :  10:08:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
GrandTrunk & Pete, You both have touched exactly upon some of the points emphasized in letterbashing. In fact there are examples showing just what you brought up here.

Letterbashing is a method, not a technique. Using it effectively includes a basic understanding of signpainting and typography combined with some computer graphics. The how is easier than the why. Trying to convey a sense of how signpainters approached their work, and adding to that why and how to mess around with typefaces by using one or two different computer programs to approximate handlettering is a stimulating challenge.

At this point I am concentrating on editing material for the upcoming workshop. Last year's session went very well based on audience questions and comments, so I know there is interest. But there is enough new stuff since then that currently I'm a bit overwhelmed at how to fit it all into the same time frame, afterall, the hobby is model railroading, not model sign making. After this presentation I'll have more feedback about what areas are the most helpful and what points need to be clarified, simplified, or redone. It isn't art; it isn't computer science, but it isn't instant pudding either.



Edited by - Bill Gill on 05/06/2015 12:52:29 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 3047 Go to Top of Page

Bill Gill
Fireman



Posted - 05/04/2015 :  10:15:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
By the way, GrandTrunk mentioned his father was a "signwriter". My understanding of the term is that that is a craftsman with very high skills - beyond a signpainter.


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eTraxx
Fireman



Posted - 05/05/2015 :  07:04:02 AM  Show Profile  Visit eTraxx's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Fascinating subject. I browsed Google Books and found a . "How to Paint Signs and Sho' Cards"

The little book (86 pages) by Eric Christian Matthews was published in 1920 and sub-titled "A Complete Course of Self-Instruction Containing 100 Alphabets and Designs"



Country: USA | Posts: 2998 Go to Top of Page

Bill Gill
Fireman



Posted - 05/05/2015 :  07:54:12 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ed, Yeah! Handlettering is very different than type. There are many books that explain how-to letter, mix paint, varnish, prep walls or signboards, paint signs, and lots more. Some are better than others. I'm distilling enough background to give sense of how to make model signs that don't look like type because actually handpainting good scale sized signs is an art.
Although there are still sign painters and remnants of old signs, most contemporary signage is not handpainted and pretty much is typefaces. However, for many model RRs, handpainted signs are all over the place so having a few convincing ones helps set the scene.



Edited by - Bill Gill on 05/06/2015 08:50:21 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 3047 Go to Top of Page

eTraxx
Fireman



Posted - 05/05/2015 :  10:27:31 PM  Show Profile  Visit eTraxx's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Bill -
In a way it makes me think of drafting. I took drafting in High School and College .. at a table .. paper, pencils, pens, rulers, angles, protractors, compass .. that is almost gone now what with CAD .. much like the sign painting I guess.



Country: USA | Posts: 2998 Go to Top of Page

dallas_m
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 05/05/2015 :  10:43:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bill -- Some time ago, you sent me a link to a video showing a fellow hand-painting the lettering on an old coach (maybe) that was being restored ... if you still have that link, it would go well with this thread ... as I recall, it gave a good "feel" for the process.

Cheers,
Dallas

Chambers Gas & Oil -- structure build
Quality craftsmanship with a sense of humor!

Country: USA | Posts: 4674 Go to Top of Page

Bill Gill
Fireman



Posted - 05/06/2015 :  09:19:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dallas, Good idea, here's the link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QV6L_pzOfYA&list=PLqjt1uhh1LKZCPPG_F1kMiwRrntrFgTuu

Here is an example of a similar,though simpler letterbashed R. It was done with GIMP, starting with a 'regular' R from a common typeface from a computer. Notice that the middle R with a dropped shadow is not just a black R superimposed on top of a red R, the corners connect, giving the shadow depth.

The far right R is a little more ornate. It doesn't show well, but the dropped shadow here has additional shading somewhat like the 2 in the video. The back leg of that R has been changed too. The NERPM workshop will demonstrate some of these techniques.



Country: USA | Posts: 3047 Go to Top of Page

jatravia
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 05/06/2015 :  12:04:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Watching the video makes me jealous - not a term a use lightly - I've painted signs for church events and that sort of thing but never close to that level of professionalism. That is wild.

Also Bill, you are continuing to hold my attention with your "R" example. I "play" with fonts all the time - long story short I started making computer signs for my high school drafting instructor (I attended a vo-tech and I still work in engineering) after we got our first CAD system (1986) and the other teachers realized we could plot poster sized signs for them. I've manipulated characters ... but again, never to that level. This is good stuff.

Joe <><



Country: USA | Posts: 2833 Go to Top of Page

Bill Gill
Fireman



Posted - 05/06/2015 :  12:54:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Joe, Thanks for joining in the discussion. Do you have any examples of characters you've maipulated? What software did you use do do it?


Country: USA | Posts: 3047 Go to Top of Page

mabloodhound
Fireman



Posted - 05/06/2015 :  4:13:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ed, good link to that book. I've always found it time consuming to find proper fonts for my 1920 time period and there they are, right in this book.
I donwloaded the PDF copy to my PC for future reference.
And the video on lettering is WAY beyond my shaky hand skill level.



Country: USA | Posts: 6702 Go to Top of Page

Bill Gill
Fireman



Posted - 05/06/2015 :  6:12:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dave, The size of the numeral 2 in the video is almost a couple orders of magnitude larger than HO lettering - shaky indeed for pretty much anyone.

A fundamental premise of letterbashing is that no typeface, regardless of style, looks like handlettering. It's the small variations, deliberate or accidental that give handlettering its unique look. Lettrbashbashing controls those variations, so shaky hands don't have to.



Edited by - Bill Gill on 05/07/2015 06:59:59 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 3047 Go to Top of Page
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