Tag Archives: Sign Painting

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.

Mike Meyer’s Workshop Shocards

Mike Meyer painted this series of shocards to promote his forthcoming series of Better Letters workshops, spanning eight cities on three continents. In date order, here are links to all the information and booking pages for these events. Join the mailing list or subscribe to the Facebook events page for future dates.

Better Letters at the Merchant City Festival

Better Letters and Ghostsigns took to this year’s Merchant City Festival in Glasgow with a Mike Meyer Hand Lettering Workshop, an illustrated talk about ghostsigns, and the screening of three short films about signs and lettering. The gallery above shows the fun we had running the workshop, with some other things we got up to below.
(Thank you Alistair Fleming Photography for the photo with Mike and Chelsea)

Across from us in the Merchant Square were the Merchant City Letterheads, featuring Scott Telfer, Stewart McLaren, Artisan Artworks, Dapper Signs and Ross Hastie. They were working on a series of panels for the festival, and a David Bowie tribute night/auction on the final night.
(Thank you Alistair Fleming Photography for the photo of Stewart McLaren)

Monday gave us a chance to take the Pub Typology Tour, curated by Dress for the Weather and focused on the architectural and design heritage of Glasgow’s pubs. We made it to four out of six, joined by Adrian Harrison, director of 21st Century Victorian.

Horn Please was one of the films we screened, alongside 21st Century Victorian and Man with a Brush. By pure coincidence Glasgow’s Tramway gallery were holding and exhibition, ‘Pehchaan: Art from Another India‘, which happened to feature a series of commissioned truck ends, among other artworks and artifacts.

And of course there was plenty of lettering and ghostsigns to be seen around Glasgow, including the delights of the old Fruit Market where many of the old signs had been saved. (For more signs and lettering, check out the photos of Stuart Brown.)

Here are the three films we screened at the festival, thank you everyone that made the visit possible, we can’t wait to come back!