Mike Meyer has specialised in sign painting for many years and never seems to lack inspiration. Over time Mike has collected material from different sources to help keep himself inspired, and now some of that material from Mike’s collection has been organised into a book titled ‘Morgue File Book 1’. The book has been published in partnership with Mike Meyer, A.S Handover, Better Letters and Alice Mazzilli.
Mike grew up and still lives in a town called Mazeppa located within Minnesota. The town is very small and has less than a thousand people living in it, which can make finding new sources of inspiration a challenge. In his younger days Mike would watch his father paint signs, and also spend time replicating the signage he had seen on cars onto model cars of his own. As he got older he attended sign school and learnt more about the art, and after some life detours launched his own sign painting business.
At sign school Mike learnt from his teacher that it was good practice to keep a handy resource of reference and inspiration, which his teacher referred to as a ‘Morgue File’. Keeping a ‘Morgue File’ was probably a really important step for Mike because of the limitations that can come from living in a small town. Nowadays because of the internet there’s almost no excuse for not collecting reference and inspirational material wherever you happen to be located. The internet wasn’t around for a great deal of Mike’s career so he sought out lettering inspiration from where he could. Mike found inspiration from newspaper cuttings, advertisements, leaflets, magazines and more, collecting them in his own Morgue File.
Now after years of collecting Mike has a fantastic file of lettering, some of it capturing eras that are slowly becoming forgotten.
The paper in ‘Morgue File Book 1’ has been provided by specialists G.F Smith. The book is divided up into sections making it easy to browse, and each page has been printed on Munken paper. The section titles have been hand lettered and are printed on vibrant orange Colorplan paper. You can find exciting sections like ‘Big & Blocky’ and ‘Fuel for Thought’ along with many others throughout the book. It doesn’t really matter which you specialise in, whether it’s sign painting, brush lettering or illustrative lettering, this book will provide inspiration for all.
This won’t be the kind of book you look through just once, it will provide inspiration time and time again. I haven’t had this book all that long but I’ve already found myself browsing through it numerous times, spotting new pieces of lettering that I’ve over looked previously where there is so much to see.
The book has a nice printed look and feel about it which works well with the type of content it contains, and was achieved by using a Risograph printer. It’s clear just as much time and effort has gone into the production of the book as Mike has spent collecting the lettering featured within it. To discover more about the production of ‘Morgue File Book 1’ head over to Better Letters, where you will find a feature including a couple of videos.
You can purchase the book from A.S Handover who are sign painting, brush and tool specialists from the 1st September. If you’d like to pre-order the book you can contact A.S Handover using firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Pre-Order Morgue File’ as the subject line, along with how many copies you’d like to pre-order. The book will also be available at the Letterheads event ‘Greetings from Amsterdam’.
Mike is lucky in that he knew he always wanted to be a lettering artist, and his ‘Morgue File Book 1’ truly reflects the passion he has for collecting lettering. I’d guess, as this is ‘Book 1’ and Mike has much more he’s yet to share from his collection there will be a second book at some point in the future, and I already can’t wait to see it.
If you have any questions about Mike’s book or experiences of collecting your own reference and inspiration, feel free to comment just below.