Better Letters at the Merchant City Festival

Glasgow hosts a sign painting workshop, Letterheads, typographic pub crawl and painted Indian sign art.

Better Letters at the Merchant City Festival
Mike Meyer teaching a sign painting class in Glasgow.

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 ghost signs, and the screening of three short films about signs and lettering. The gallery below shows the fun we had running the workshop, with some other things we got up to below.

Our workshop was in the Merchant Square, right in the heart of the Merchant City
Our workshop was in the Merchant Square, right in the heart of the Merchant City.
Friday was setting up the easels ready for two days of slinging paint
Friday was setting up the easels ready for two days of slinging paint.
Time for a bit of easels decoration
Time for a bit of easels decoration.
Day one and people are working the Gothic (Block) letters, first in pencil and then with paint
Day one and people are working the Gothic (Block) letters, first in pencil and then with paint.
Completed sheets hand out to dry under the easels
Completed sheets hand out to dry under the easels.
Mahl stick resting on the easel, brush to a chisel edge, and pull
Mahl stick resting on the easel, brush to a chisel edge, and pull.
Photo opportunity for team Better Letters, Sam Roberts and Mike Meyer
Photo opportunity for team Better Letters, Sam Roberts and Mike Meyer.
Demonstrating the process of creating a pounce pattern
Demonstrating the process of creating a pounce pattern.
Aeriel view of Mike Meyer teaching
Aerial view of Mike Meyer teaching.
Strokes demonstration using a brush from A.S.Handover
Strokes demonstration using a brush from A.S.Handover.
Quick time out to do some Live Lettering, this one for Chelsea from Vancouver (Photo: Alistair Fleming Photography,)
Quick time out to do some Live Lettering, this one for Chelsea from Vancouver. Photo: Alistair Fleming Photography.
Loosening things up with a bit of Casual/Flash
Loosening things up with a bit of Casual/Flash.
Practising script
Practising script.
Freestyling on an easel with more stroke demonstrations
Freestyling on an easel with more stroke demonstrations.
We want YOU at the next workshop!
We want YOU at the next workshop!
Thank you to everyone at the Merchant City Festival for inviting us to be part of this fantastic event
Thank you to everyone at the Merchant City Festival for inviting us to be part of this fantastic event.

(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.

Merchant City Letterheads by Scott Telfer
Merchant City Letterheads by Scott Telfer.
Cooper from Bristol’s Dapper Signs at work
Cooper from Bristol’s Dapper Signs at work.
Ross Hastie going large
Ross Hastie going large.
Stewart McLaren taking a break from one of his panels
Stewart McLaren taking a break from one of his panels. Photo: Alistair Fleming Photography.

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.

Six pub on the Pub Typology Tour from Dress for the Weather
Six pub on the Pub Typology Tour from Dress for the Weather.
Mike Meyer braves The Steps
Mike Meyer braves The Steps.
Tabac reflected
Tabac reflected.
The Scotia Bar, Glasgow’s oldest pub
The Scotia Bar, Glasgow’s oldest pub.

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 artefacts.

Indian truck art piece from Pehchaan exhibition at Tramway Glasgow
Indian truck art piece from Pehchaan exhibition at Tramway Glasgow.
Indian truck art piece from Pehchaan exhibition at Tramway Glasgow
Indian truck art piece from Pehchaan exhibition at Tramway Glasgow.
Indian truck art piece from Pehchaan exhibition at Tramway Glasgow
Indian truck art piece from Pehchaan exhibition at Tramway Glasgow.
Indian truck art piece from Pehchaan exhibition at Tramway Glasgow
Indian truck art piece from Pehchaan exhibition at Tramway Glasgow.

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.

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!