The Charm of Hand Painted Graphic Design by Rachel Benyon
A recent trip to India has been the inspiration for my second article. Whilst travelling around the country, I was struck by the all the street art and diversity of designs and so I decided to collect some great photographs of hand painted signs and advertisements. The gorgeous, well crafted typography is so organic, painted in such vibrant colours and brightened up the poorest and most run down of towns. Here is a small collection of photographs from my travels that capture a sense of Indian artistic culture:
From big brands to a one-off sign post, it is so refreshing to see hand rendered typography. It’s so obvious that a country like India doesn’t experience brands like we do – they’re certainly not over-saturated by them like we are.
A hand painted sign of a global brand just wouldn’t sit nicely with the consistency they seek over here. There is something so charming and engaging about the hand-rendered signs and it shows that graphic design at the hands of a computer does not always speak the loudest.
This also brings me to a case study I recently read about. The typeface Fairtrade, which you can see in some of the images to follow, actually took its inspiration from hand painted signs in Africa. Fairtrade is actually 3 individual typefaces, Fairtrade 1, 2 and 3, which are always used together, alternated letter by letter to create the unique look of the typeface. It’s a simple concept but the subtlety and contrasts of the colours renders this technique striking and effective.
Creative directors from advertising agency Weiden and Kennedy visited Africa to meet with Fairtrade farmers as part of a project they were working on, and whilst out there were struck by the hand drawn type and signs. They decided to capture this in a new typeface. I love the vibrant yet organic colour palette used as well, I think they’ve done a fantastic job.
The originality and organic feel to hand painted signs and advertisements can be great to draw inspiration from, as has been done with the Fairtrade typeface. Simply using the photographs to swatch colours from would create a fantastic, vibrant palette; I particularly like the colours used in the Himalayan Kangra tea photo. In a society saturated with products, graphics, signs, etc that are so inspired by such originality, to actually see it first hand was simply so refreshing!
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