Annica Lydenberg of Dirty Bandits is a Brooklyn and San Francisco-based designer, illustrator and sign painter deeply obsessed with type.From Brooklyn Annica came to San Francisco to study sign painting with New Bohemia Signs. Her text is inspired by traditional show card writing, 90s hip hop and her love of puns and wordplay often using humor to address personal issues.Each word she paints or draws is treated as an image rather than a word rendered in a particular font. She works with painting, chalk, screen printing, and pen and ink, pulling stylistic influence from an ever growing photographic library of found type and vintage and contemporary signage.
TV & Dart Board by Annica Lydenberg (sizes variable) Photos by Gui Machado
The series entitled, I’m a Piece of Garbage, involves dragging in discarded items from the street and painting self deprecating phrases on them. With these phrases Dirty Bandits touches on deep insecurity and a struggle to maintain a sense of self worth. Starting with items from the trash and using humorous text and sign painting, a very traditional medium, it turns them into art. It is a series about salvage in a literal, art historical and emotional sense.
With every letter crafted there is a story being told, and with only 26 of them to augment it takes a deft hand and a designer mind to make them distinct. Born in 1978 in Antioch, California, Marcos LaFarga has been developing his true west design aesthetic right in the epicenter of California creativity. His pedigree is one that runs from the wall and the freight, to a BFA in 2006 from California College of the Arts. It is this diverse background that provides him with the depth to move and merge between otherwise separate visual languages. Marcos focuses his artistry on the intersection of three fundamentals of visual expression, graphic design, typography, and photo realistic renderings, all three which he seamlessly melds to create a united reflection of our contemporary life. With an abundant sense of color value and contrast, a sublime sense of humor, and a sensitivity for the balance our eyes naturally seek; Marcos is creating honest work that effortlessly represents contemporary design and composition. (Profile by: Jeben Berg)
Isaac S. Lewin’s current work focuses on text. Utilizing a stream of consciousness mark-making process, he developed a set of lines organized in a way that is reminiscent of the usual parameters of most textual formats. These textual parameters are most commonly based upon a complex arrangement of marks that designate a phonetic pronunciation and or a linguistic meaning.
These pieces serve as text developed without meaning. They have no phonetic component. No ethnic tradition as companion. It does not and will not be read, whether up or down, left to right, nor right to left. Isaac chooses each linear element based on how he feels it should go during its initial design, as one might write each letter in a word, infinitely from letter to letter.
After having developed these textual forms, he has set them within the confines of perhaps the most practical communicative textual setting, signage. The text begs us to inscribe meaning, but lacks the systems which text depends upon to be deciphered.
These systems, whether directive (by dictionary), or collective (our common understanding), have not been applied, yet we are still left with writing all the same. Asemic writing, incomprehensible on a linguistic level, but writeable. If they are written do we not read them? We do, so go forth scribes, read and write.
Isaac S. Lewin is an interdisciplinary artists based out of San Jose, California. His interests in shape, form, and structure tied with his history as a graffiti writer, drew him to create a unique textual format void of linguistic meaning. These textual forms were born out of a desire to write beautifully outside the confines of the alphabet and meaning. His asemic writing is universally incomprehensible yet quickly recognizable as text all the same. Building these letters using commercial sign making techniques, juxtaposes issues of communication with the incommunicable allowing us to focus on the only things left for us to read…the visual design characteristics of each terminal form.
Alphonzo Solorzano is a visual artist whose current work can be traced to early ideas and themes found from his creative explorations as a child. His earliest drawing experiences would include comics, animation and endless drawing sessions with his 2 brothers. From these experiences, the use of graphic line work, typography, and the element of narrative would emerge as major components to many later works.
His current work is interested in creating objects that explore the relationship between early memory and its context on present day. These works provide a bridge that foster reflection, celebration, and understanding in these memories that exist independent of time. He hopes that they may serve as a vessel towards a state of time travel, to a place of childhood wonderment.
Alphonzo Solorzano currently resides in San Francisco where he continues to experiment with new medias that combine illustration, fabrication, three dimensional elements and other technologies.
Andrew Lawrence is a full time sign painter and gilder living and working in San Francisco. His work seeks to bridge the gap between contemporary art and turn of last century techniques that are long forgotten today. Using gold as an artistic medium represents the opulence and reverence for craft that Lawrence holds. Preferring to work reverse on glass allows for flawless mirror finish that reflect oneself as well as the times we live in – the riches of the Bay Area and the selfie centered society. The beauty of California is a central theme to his work.
As the sole proprietor of Gentleman Scholar Signs, Lawrence has decorated storefronts across the Bay Area. He has worked for award winning chefs, butchers, book stores and a few corporate clients. Chances are you have seen his gold leaf windows or signs and likely don’t know it. He’s been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, 7×7 as well as shown nationally in Chicago, San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles.