The Daily Heller: How Much is That Letter in the Window?

Posted inDesign Books
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The one with the brush-stroked wagging tail

Never mind. My puns (to the tune of "Doggie in the Window") get the best of me, or the worst, depending on who is reading. And frankly, you don't deserve such written abuse. So, sorry! But …

Every time I have the pleasure of seeing Mike Meyer's showcards, I want to sing. I also want to do what he is so adept at doing: using brush, ink and paint to make these wonderful signs. Unfortunately, I've never had the opportunity to see him in any of his workshop venues, but thanks to the London-based Sam Roberts, proprietor of Better Letters Co., expert ghost sign seeker, preserver and hawker, I now have a copy of Meyer's book of workshop announcements.

For those of you who are not attuned to the showcard mini-culture, there are a lot of handletterers on the streets of many little-known and big-hearted towns and cities all over the globe. Meyer is one of the leaders. As Roberts writes in his "Little History":

I was giving a talk on ghost signs at St. Brides Library in London and noticed a mustachioed man in the front row gently nodding off into a deep sleep. That man was Mike Meyer. … Little did I know that four months later he would be picking me up from Minneapolis airport on my first trip to America to attend my first ever Letterheads meet at his sign shop in Mazeppa.

In addition to his meet-ups, Meyer, who says he's "on a mission to teach the world to paint signs," has been a star on the traveling sign-painters circuit (which includes 178 events in 56 cities and 20 countries over four continents) in addition to running his own shop. Roberts laments the halt in the sign game workshops, owing to COVID. So in lieu of starting the engines and the letters swooshing when the pandemic is entirely over, this latest book is a beautiful example of Meyer's better letters in the service of a joyful popular graphic art. Get it here.