When Typography Is Suspenseful

This is one of many videos from Airbrush Action Magazine capturing self-taught airbrush artist Glen Weisgerber, who has been painting custom lettering and graphics for trucks, cars, guitars and motorbikes since the 1970s.

It shows Weisgerber demonstrating his “round hand lettering” technique—essentially a kind of calligraphy that emphasizes open, flowing letterforms—by hand-painting words on an unforgiving, high-gloss surface. His mastery of the paintbrush is remarkable, almost athletic in its blend of physicality, speed, assurance and accuracy. It’s one of the only examples I can think of in which watching the execution of typography is actually suspenseful; I couldn’t turn my eyes away.

Weisgerber trades in a flavor of graphics that many designers, myself included, would typically regard dismissively, but as this video proves, he is undoubtedly a designer, illustrator and typographer of extraordinary skill. Also, more than most designers I know, his personal appearance is completely consistent with his work.