Meet Claude Dolbec: Montreal's Elusive Sign Painter

Short documentary feature about Montreal's most prolific, but elusive sign painters: Claude Dolbec.

View of a hand holding a brush painting a red shadow on golden block letters on a window.
Claude Dolbec in Bruno Boulianne's Claude n’est pas mort (2018).

Dotted around the world are sign painters whose work lends a particular aesthetic to their locales but is rarely, if ever, seen online. Montreal's Claude Dolbec is one of them, and in 2016 his story was captured by film director Bruno Boulianne in the short feature Claude n’est pas mort (Claude is not dead); it premiered in 2018.

The film can be watched below and, although there are no subtitles, there is lots to enjoy for non-French speakers. I was made aware of its online release by Max Bourgeois (@signs_and_crimes) who has kindly written this introduction for BLAG readers.

Claude Dolbec: Montreal's Elusive Sign Painter

"A couple of years ago, a documentary was made about Montreal's most prolific sign painter, Claude Dolbec. The full version is now available for free on Vimeo so I think it's worth sharing with the whole community. Sadly it's only in french, but even without subtitles it's worth a watch for any sign enthusiasts. For better context, here's an article summing-up Claude's story and what's depicted in the documentary.