20 Oct 2005
The Parade here in Leamington Spa (current awesome slogan:
You’ll love it) is being renovated, and last week they put the street markings on fresh tarmac.
It’s fascinating watching the bloke doing lettering. In one hand’s a metal pot of hot molten ‘paint’, in the other a handle with a rectangular mold on the end. The paint is steadily poured in and escapes the mold through a gap along one edge as it’s dragged along to draw the letters. Stopping and starting would produce uneven results, so a letter O is done with a single deft sweep of the handle. The paint sets almost immediately, so one slip and there’s a nasty mess to drill/melt off.
Being a bit of a design geek I couldn’t help but notice the letters are all monospaced, apart from the letter I, with no kerning (you could park a car between the L and Y). Of course, I made sure any discussion of this was out of earshot; when a man has hot paint in one hand and a metal implement in the other you don’t criticise his typography.