Sign Painters: The Movie

“Sign Painters: The Movie”

Sometimes a unique subject becomes the inspiration for two different movies within a short time frame, e.g., “Armageddon” and “Deep Impact.” This phenomenon is known as twin films, and it’s usually something that happens among rival Hollywood studios. But apparently independent film is susceptible to it as well.

A few weeks ago I posted about “Gentlemen of Letters,” a documentary about the tradition of hand-painted lettering and signs in Dublin, Ireland. Today I was made aware of “Sign Painters: The Movie,” a similar documentary about the history and current state of hand-painted signs in America. This one was directed by Faythe Levine and Sam Macon, and bills itself as “the first anecdotal history of the craft,” and “features the stories of more than two dozen sign painters working in cities throughout the United States.”

Perhaps fittingly given its American focus, “Sign Painters: The Movie” also seems to be more strident about sign painting as an art form or a celebration of individualism, where “Gentlemen of Letters” emphasized the craft’s local tradition and history. The latter, again fittingly, also seems to be a bit savvier about marketing and merchandising. It’s available for purchase via video-on-demand right now in standard and premium editions, with added footage for those who want to pay more; there’s even a companion book to the movie on offer as well. You can find out more at


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