Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Pre-Vinylites: Notes on a Manifesto

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was a group of young, London artists in the mid 1800's who were tired of the proliferation of art made by imitation and repetition and void of emotional connection. They established a fellowship and detailed their ambitions in a manifesto which included such intentions as:
  • to have genuine ideas to express;
  • to study Nature attentively, so as to know how to express them;
  • to sympathise with what is direct and serious and heartfelt in previous art, to the exclusion of what is conventional and self-parading and learned by rote;
  • and, most indispensable of all, to produce thoroughly good pictures and statues
They referred to themselves as "Pre-Raphaelites" because they believed that the tradition that resulted from the imitation of Raphael's classical model was a corruption to art, making it devoid it of emotion and humanity.
Our intention for a "Pre-Vinylite Society" proposes to subvert the recent convention of tasteless signage as a digression from both time honored design and the traditional hand painted signs. We believe that sign craft, if done with care and passion, can aestheticize our urban landscape. This ideal is not limited to the execution of hand painted signs alone, what ever the medium, if done with care, tact, and well executed design, can positively affect the surrounding landscape. These are just some preliminary thoughts on what we hope will become, itself, a manifesto. Please comment with any ideas that you may have about the resurgence of hand painted signs and let's make this "society" a reality!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Moving Along

The Chameleon sign is completed and installed and receiving rave reviews! Josh is now working on a sandwich board for Good Faith Tattoo. He finished their glass door last week. Here's what it looks like:
If you want to see more photos of the sign-making and installation process , check out Best Dressed Signs' Facebook page!

Next up is a sign for Primitive Traditions Body Piercing (in the same building as Good Faith) and then hopefully some signs for Dame, a really cool vintage store in Jamaica Plain, if they accept the bid. So far, so good.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Rant by Meredith and then some Hot Italian Beef!

Tomorrow is the big day! Best Dressed Signs is installing our first sign in Boston! The installation is scheduled to start at 9:00am and Josh is putting the finishing touches on the sign at this moment!

And now, what I think are some important implications:
I think it's imperative that signage, as the most basic form of marketing, should not only be conducive to generating business for the company that it advertises, but should also contribute to the beautification of a space. It is, after all, or should be, the most accessible art that we see every day. Boston spent billions of dollars on the Big Dig in an effort to (among other things, of course) beautify the city, with the expansion of parks and greenways. Why not extend that aesthetic progress to the the city's signs? I think this Chameleon sign is going to be the first step towards changing the way people think about their urban environment here in Boston. I hope so, anyway.
Okay, enough of that. Click on this video to see Josh in action, working on the last sign that he painted for New Bohemia in San Francisco. And check in again on Sunday, when I'll be posting all about our adventures in installation. It will certainly be the first time I've ever done it. Wish us luck!