The heatwave that swept Europe at the beginning of September coincided with 50 sign painters gathering in Brussels for Benelux Letterheads 2023 (@beneluxletterheads). There's an event review in BLAG 04, but here's a photo essay to give a flavour of what went down.
Letterheads is all about the learning, and 'newbies' are always welcome. In Brussels, those with less sign painting experience were guided by Peter Snijders at Bold Statements (@boldstatements.nl) who got them on the brush and painting letters, shades and shadows.
Across the three-day event, Sebastian Karbowiak from Kompagnon Letters (@kompagnon.letters) and a small team collaborated to paint a mural that was then 'ghosted' on the final day.
As always, the beating heart of the meet is the freestyle sign painting on panels, paper, and anything that will stay still long enough to be painted.
Sign painters need to keep their brushes wet, and so the paint station fulfils a function like that of a water cooler in an office; it's a place that new friends are made, advice is given, and gossip shared. It's also quite a photogenic place...
Sign Painting Goods
In addition to the standard-issue goodie bag, there's usually a busy trade in stickers, t-shirts, and other sign painting/painter merchandise—my sticker haul filled three full pages of my album!
Dapper Signs Tributes
The Paris mural-painting collective Lettres Capitales (@lettrescapitales) produced a tribute to Dapper Signs' James Cooper who had only died a couple of weeks before the meet. Others painted panels, and all the proceeds from the auction went to support Cooper's family.
Going, Going, Gone!
With paint still drying on lots of work, the auction got into full swing on Sunday afternoon, raising over 2,800€ for Dapper Signs' family.
One benefit of Letterheads meets is that you're with a load of sign painters, lettering artists, and sign painting enthusiasts that also want to stop and take photos of signs. On the Saturday morning, a few of us took a slow wander through the streets of Brussels on the way to the meet.
Francois Tusseki (@francoistusseki) pulled off hosting the meet with aplomb. He appeared completely relaxed throughout, and even sat down to paint on a few occasions. Everything was top notch, from the venue to the catering to the overall atmosphere. Bravo!