Jeff Canham

Posted by Michael | Posted in General Jeff Canham

His colourful, typographic compositions showcase his skills as an artist, graphic designer, and traditional sign painter. From art directing Surfer Magazine to learning the time-honored craft of sign painting his juxtaposition of old and new methods have evolved to form the backbone of his work today. His sign painting, typography and hand lettering style are gorgeous and truly inspiring. His latest work, are these beautiful large flags that will decorate The Standard’s Hotel in NYC, they have been popping up in a few twitter feeds of late. Not only is the project in hand a visually stunning the process of creating the visuals is pretty impressive.

The artistic statement from The Standards website explains the work:
‘Jeff’s paintings and design work explore the various ways language – particularly phrases and idioms – can be conveyed and interpreted. His work often combines text with graphic elements, and in some cases the text itself becomes the graphic element, as in the series for The Standard.Each of the 26 hand-painted pieces in Canham’s edition represents a different letter of the alphabet, referencing traditional nautical flags in the artist’s distinctive graphic style.’


But in my mind Jeffs hand painted signs that are a real winner. The pure craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into these pieces are truly inspiring, and just goes to show that the old ways are still the best ways. You can’t beat the labour of love when it comes to making some cracking work. Painting each letter by hand, getting to know the form of each character and the flow of the piece must of been tedious, even painful at times, yet somewhat therapeutic and ultimately satisfying when the wall or sign was finished. Maybe its because my first taste of design came as a sign writers apprentice years back that I love these signs so much, they hold some must character and history and story behind them. You can’t deny that this type isn’t beautiful. And when I head back stateside I will be sure to scope out some of Jeff’s work in the flesh, as I feel these pictures just don’t do the pieces justice.




To see more of Jeffs work visit his website here.

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