BLAG (Better Letters Magazine)
BLAG (Better Letters Magazine) is the world's only print and online publication dedicated to sign painting. It's free to join these adventures in sign painting via the mailing list.
BLAG exists 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 is made 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. (Have a look inside Issue 02 here.) 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 email@example.com 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.
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or use this online form to share ideas for articles and features.
I'm Sam Roberts and 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
How do I subscribe?
Free and paid subscription options are available via this link.
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 paid subscribers.
When does the print BLAG come out?
There are two issues per year, one in summer (June/July) and one in winter (December/January). New Blaggers that sign up between 1 October and 31 March will receive the winter issue as their first instalment. Signing up between 1 April and 30 September will mean you receive the summer issue first.
Is shipping included in the subscription?
For those at Blagger level and above, shipping of each issue of the print magazine is included in the monthly/annual subscription.
What do I do if I change my address?
If you are signed up at the Blagger level or above then you can change your address using the online form, or by sending an email to email@example.com.
What is the email newsletter?
The newsletter is published and distributed to all subscribers, whether paid or not, approximately monthly. It features the latest bl.ag online articles (see above), details of forthcoming events, and links to useful sources of information and inspiration. Much of the email newsletter content doesn't appear elsewhere so subscribing is the only way to receive it.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and there is a referral scheme where you can earn money by recommending new subscribers.
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?
Yes, I welcome contributions and ideas for articles and features. You can send these to email@example.com, or use the online submission form. The aim is to inform and inspire the international sign painting community, so keep that in mind when developing ideas.
Is BLAG available to buy elsewhere?
The printed magazine is first and foremost for subscribers. Once a new issue has been pubished, outstanding stock of the previous issue is made available in the online shop. The few remaining copies of BLAG 01 were sold in this way, but the only way to be sure of receiving the magazine is to subscribe.
Is BLAG available digitally?
For the time being, no, but I am investigating ways to create a subscriber-only digital edition.