Tag Archives: Lettering

Tribute to Tony Booth, Commercial Artist for The Beatles

Tony Booth was commercial artist to Brian Epstein and The Beatles, producing countless posters, flyers, and promotional materials for them and other musicians of the era. The above film was made by the BBC in 2016 and documents Tony’s later work recreating these posters for collectors and enthusiasts. Some examples are shown below, with a wider collection on his website, and many available to buy.

Tony sadly passed away earlier this year, but before he did so he struck up a friendship with designer Emily Salinas who has shared her memories of getting to know him, and a small project she completed as a tribute to the man and his work. Emily used some of the experience and resources from one of our workshops in doing this project so it’s great to know that the skills are out there and being used for positive things.

I met Tony Booth over our shared obsession with lettering and sign painting.

I came from a background of graphic design and digital design but was getting increasingly interested in hand-made art and design, and also in traditional skills. Tony was a veteran Liverpool lettering legend having hand painted all the original gig posters for The Beatles.

I spent a day with him, where I got to see his studio, which was adorned with all his amazing artwork, see him working on one of the posters for his then forthcoming solo exhibition and he showed me the basics of how to handle a brush and draw a few letters.

He seemed delighted to see someone from a younger generation taking an active interest in his beloved trade and keen to pass on what he had learned. I left with a fist full of brushes he bestowed upon me and the promise to let him know how I got on.

After our meet up we kept in touch via his son, Lee, who was also a member of ROAD studios. Lee would keep Tony up-to-date with my progress and occasionally I would come to my desk to find a rolled up sheet with some lettering that Tony had passed Lee to give me.

I found out, sadly, that Tony’s long-standing cancer was taking a turn for the worst. Still, he was asking Lee for updates about where I was up to. It was at this point I decided to make a tribute poster for Tony as a gift for him: a hand-lettered poster in the same style as all his Beatles posters, except this poster would be about him.

Unfortunately, Tony passed away before he got a chance to see the poster I’d made for him, but I decided to finish it anyway and donate it to his family.

Rest in Peace, Tony Booth, Commercial Artist, Liverpool

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.

Not Nice from A Large Evil Corporation

Not Nice is the first promotional magazine produced by Coy! Communications for the (real) animation company A Large Evil Corporation, and their (fictitious) subsidiary, Evil Farms. It features a stack of tongue-in-cheek and innuendo-filled pages which were launched alongside an exhibition of photography and prints, all directed by Coy’s Mark Denton Esq.

We were invited along to one of the photo shoots to create a series of shocards for Evil Farms’ new supermarket, promoting everything from humongous melons to popped cherries. Mike Meyer took the brief and ran with it across a fun-packed day in the studio. Thank you to Coy! for getting us involved, a run-down of the whole team and more photos can be found on their blog about the project.

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.

Mike Meyer Morgue File

The Morgue File brings together clippings and other ephemera gathered by Mike Meyer over the years as inspiration for signs and lettering. The book is a collaboration between Mike Meyer, Better Letters, designer Alice Mazzilli, printers 12–B and paper merchants G.F Smith. Printed by Risograph on Munken (main pages) and Colorplan (cover and section dividers), each cover has been hand stamped by Mike Meyer.

The book officially launched at Greetings from Amsterdam (26 August), and unofficially at an event in London (13 September). It is available exclusively from A.S.Handover, via their online shop and London outlet.

Here are some behind the scenes videos and photos showing some of the production process for this book, and visit the shop to see other goodies from Better Letters.