To tape, or not to tape? This question is an eternal topic of conversation, and debate, among sign painters the world over. But, in Costa Rica's San José, Gerardo Picado developed a unique take on tape, earning him the moniker 'Mr Masking'.
Working adeptly, and at speed, Mr Masking's style became synonymous with painted signs in San José. He created a typographic vernacular of his very own through the consistency of his letterforms, each composition outlined in tape before painting the spaces between.
The paint itself was applied by dabbing a small sponge onto the exposed substrate, sometimes using two tones to create a highlight or blend across the tops of the letters.
His technique was driven by a desire to innovate and paint signs at speed, in the absence of a plotter to make the masks mechanically. This speed made him a relatively cheap option, and so he was never short of work for small businesses in San José.
In 2009, Mr Masking's output caught the attention of Alfredo Enciso, partner at the Pupila (@pupila.co) branding and graphic design studio. This led to the production of a short film, publishing a book, and hosting events to bring his work to a wider audience in Costa Rica, and further afield.