Category Archives: Workshops & Events

When Monocle Magazine Met the Letterheads

Unbeknown to most visitors, Monocle Magazine were cruising around last year’s Letterheads meet in Amsterdam, capturing material for the short film below. As well as Mike Meyer’s various patches, it was great to see two additional Better Letters workshop facilitators in the film, Cheryl McLean from Australia and Gustavo Ferrari from Argentina. Just goes to show how international the movement has become ahead of meets in Oslo and Maidenhead this year…

Wall Writers: Graffiti in its Innocence

Last night I attended the sell-out screening of Wall Writers: Graffiti in its Innocence at London’s Prince Charles Cinema. The feature-length documentary traces the origins of contemporary graffiti in late-1960s and early-1970s New York and Philadelphia. Director Roger Gastman tracked down the writers of 50 years ago, in order to focus on the individuals that developed and evolved the then fledgling culture. These contemporary interviews are blended with archival footage and stills to paint a fascinating picture of urban deprivation, and the response to this in a new form of youth culture and expression.

The London screening was organised and promoted by Mindspray (Pride/Chrome Angelz) and featured an extended Q+A afterwards with Mike171 from the film. The film is available to stream online, and there are more screenings planned, with the next happening in New York on March 22nd. There is also a large-format book to accompany the film (Publisher; Amazon UK; Abebooks USA).

Thank you to Mindspray for bringing the film to London, and Mike171 for being part of a brilliant event (and sharing your old footage online…)

Joby Carter’s Abnormal Letterheads

Joby Carter, showman and signwriter, runs Carters Steam Fair (see photos here). Due to his touring schedule has never been able to attend a Letterheads event before, but that didn’t stop him from deciding to host one last month. Egged on by Mike Meyer, Ash Bishop and various others that fancied getting let loose with brushes and paint in his famous Maidenhead yard, the result was Abnormal Letterheads. The November weekender was attended by 77 guests, including Joby’s original teacher, Stan Wilkinson, and others from as far afield as the Netherlands, Singapore, the USA and Germany.

Most of the work produced across the weekend was auctioned off at the end. This, and proceeds from the bar, raised over £6,300 the Teenage Cancer Trust. (More lettering for good!) Unfortunately I could only attend the first day, but the photos below capture some of the action. Joby is so fired up after hosting his first meet that he’s already planning another for November 2017. Details and tickets are due for release on 1st March 2017 so keep an eye on the Better Letters Facebook Page and/or Twitter feed for these when they’re available.

The Better Letters New Year Challenge

The Better Letters New Year Challenge
The Better Letters New Year Challenge

This year Better Letters has run over 40 workshops in 19 cities across three continents. These, and the events from previous years, means that there are hundreds of people out there that have learned something through a Better Letters workshop. We want to celebrate this, and reconnect, so have created the Better Letters New Year Challenge.

The idea is simple, create a piece of lettering to welcome in 2017, making use of the skills you’ve learned at a Better Letters workshop. This can be a panel, shocard, blackboard, or anything else that you feel like working on. The wording can be as simple as ‘Happy New Year’, ‘Hello 2017’, ‘Better Letters New Year’, or get creative and surprise us!

Once you’ve finished, post a photo with #BetterLetters to the Facebook page, Instagram or Twitter, and tag Better Letters and the workshop teacher(s) too. We’ll then collect these and share them via a consolidated gallery on Facebook.

Letterheads 2016: Greetings from Amsterdam

Last month saw over 150 letterheads from five continents (25+ countries) descend on the beautiful city of Amsterdam for three days of learning, lettering and networking. Hosted by the Amsterdam Sign Painters, it was an incredible event with over 20 workshops covering everything from window splashes, to chrome lettering, to distressed signs. These were followed by a free for all on the final day where all sorts of vehicles and other blank canvasses were provided for people to let their brushes loose on.

The following are some of the photos and videos I captured at Greetings from Amsterdam, and you can find lots more from others on the Facebook event page, and via #Letterheads2016 on Instagram. There are already two forthcoming meets, so if you missed out this time then make sure you’re at either or both of Joby Carter’s in November and Oslo Norway in June next year. Massive thanks to Miranda, Jasper, and all the Amsterdam Sign Painters for making the 2016 meet a showstopper!