BLAG (Better Letters Magazine)
Adventures in Sign Painting
Are you interested in sign painting? Do you want to learn more about the craft, its history and the people doing it today?
Then BLAG (Better Letters Magazine) is for you.
BLAG is an online and print publication to inspire and inform the international sign painting community by celebrating exciting work and sharing knowledge and resources.
It's run by me, Sam Roberts, but ultimately you are in charge of where the magazine goes. It exists for your benefit so tell me what you want, and how I can help you.
Subscribing via a free or paid plan is the best way to get the most from BLAG. All subscribers receive the regular email newsletter, and have access to many of the online articles.
Paid subscribers have full online access, and those at the higher levels receive BLAG in print twice per year. Click/tap 'Subscribe' or 'Account' to see the available plans.
Paid plans can be charged monthly or annually (with discount). Discounts are also available for students and other lower-income groups. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire.
I want to share as much as I can, so I need your help. Please send questions, projects, tips, sources of inspiration, history, publications, merchandise and anything else that you want to share, or are interested in.
I'm Sam Roberts, a Londoner living in Catalonia, Spain. Better Letters was born in 2013 as a natural extension to my work on Ghostsigns. The aim was to champion sign painting and foster greater appreciation of the trade. In the years since, this has led to me organising countless events, managing a variety of sign painting projects and writing books and articles about the craft.
In addition to supporting Mike Meyer with his worldwide workshops programme, I have also gained huge satisfaction from the voluntary projects I've been involved with. These have included organising Letterheads meets, producing the 'When Better Letters Met' series of short films and helping to support and connect people inside and outside the trade.
BLAG is a new and exciting direction for my work. It allows me to continue supporting the international sign painting community by sharing work and learning opportunities, and helping to bring everyone together. I hope you'll join me on the journey, and let me know where you'd like to go.
All good things, Sam
What's the difference between BLAG and bl.ag online?
BLAG is the print magazine which is published two times per year (summer and winter) and shipped to subscribers at Blagger level and above. bl.ag online is this site, where articles are published weekly, some public and some available only to subscribers.
When does the print BLAG come out?
There are two issues per year, one in summer and one in winter. Issue 01 will be shipping worldwide in June 2022, with subsequent issues published in November and June each year.
Is shipping included in the subscription?
For those at Blagger level and above, shipping of each issue of the magazine is included in the monthly/annual subscription.
What is happening to the email newsletter?
The newsletter will continue to be published and distributed to all subscribers, whether paid or not, approximately monthly. It will feature the latest bl.ag online articles (see above), details of forthcoming events, and links to useful sources of information and inspiration.
Why are the paid subscriptions so expensive?
Just like signs, researching, writing, editing, designing, publishing, and distributing a magazine (even just online) takes time and money. The paid subscriptions are how this is funded. This keeps BLAG and bl.ag online free of advertising and popups, so more space for signs and sign painting. Students and lower-income groups can get in touch to request a discount via email@example.com.
Why are the paid subscriptions so cheap?
In general I think that if people are asking this question, and the one above, then the pricing is probably about right. If you have a bigger budget, then you can consider becoming a patron or sponsor of BLAG.
What is the format of BLAG (Better Letters Magazine)?
The printed magazine measures 172 x 250 mm (6.8" x 9.8") and contains 64 full-colour interior pages, plus the cover. There is no advertising, so every page is focused on the sign painting content. The paper used is 100% FSC certified recycled; 115gsm uncoated for the interior pages, and 250gsm anti-scuff matt lamination uncoated for the cover. It is printed using eco-friendly HUV inks
Can I contribute to BLAG or bl.ag online?
Is BLAG available to buy elsewhere?
The printed magazine is first and foremost for subscribers. There may be a limited number of Issue 01 made available via the shop once Issue 02 has been published, and so on.
Is BLAG available digitally?
For the time being, no, but I am investigating ways to create a subscriber-only digital edition.