Sign & Digital Graphics

November '17

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66 • November 2017 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S ARCHITECTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL Briskie likens hand lettering to the equestrian industry. While there aren't nearly as many people participating in it as there were 50 years ago and there aren't as many buggy whip manufactur- ers as there used to be, there is still some value in being a good buggy whip manu- facturer, he says. It is hard for hand lettering to com- pete with vinyl and digital, he says, but there are still markets for it. Briskie does a lot of gilding work with gold leaf, par- ticularly on emergency vehicles like fire trucks. As an apprentice, Briskie would be asked to practice his hand lettering dur- ing down times. His boss would unroll white paper across a board and ask him to hand letter 100 four-inch Qs. "You would dread the days he would give me 100 ampersands," he says with a laugh. Because of that practice, he is very skilled at letter spacing. He used to prac- tice hand painting the word " LAWYER" over and over again because it is one of the hardest words to write in upper case block letters and space them correctly, he says. Many clients don't realize that hand lettering is still an option, he says. "It is never bought. It has to be sold." When clients come in and say they want a truck lettered in vinyl, he shows them what it could look like in paint and most people are willing to give it a shot. The downside of paint is that it is not as durable as vinyl, he says. "It will last as long if you take care of it properly, but it is more prone to day- to-day abuse than is vinyl," Briskie says. Hand lettering accounts for between 15% and 20% of what Briskie does annually. "I've got a couple of printers and cut vinyl but it is rare that I don't employ hand lettering in every commercial job," he says. A local plumbing company wanted him to hand letter and do the graphics on the side of its new van. He designed a mascot for them and did the lion's share (Photos courtesy of Steven Vigeant) Graphics for this yellow construction vehicle were done with 1Shot.

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