John Seastrunk, the man behind many of the Mission’s hand-painted window signs, is a neighborhood institution. The Bold Italic recently caught up with him:
“It’s taken me 30 years to get a steady hand,” John says on that corner in Bayview, pulling a sponge brush from his pocket and holding it up just so. Not only does it take a still hand, but also an understanding of how light shines through each color and affects readability; which colors and font best articulate each message; and what preconceptions each audience will bring to the experience of reading the sign. “The world revolves around color,” he says. “If you’re going to find a burrito place, and you see red, white, and green, you know it’s Mexican, and you know what you’re going to find inside.” John gets to know his clients a little before starting each job. He’s got 120 typefaces memorized that he draws from, not counting Chinese, Arabic, and Khmer alphabets.
One of the things that make Seastrunk is unique in that he wears a tie along with his painter overalls. He told us a couple of years ago (video above) that someone told him he was a professional, so he decided to dress like one.
[h/t Mission Mission]