Salt Lake Lettering Club
From casual meetups to large-scale group murals, a group of Salt Lake City lettering enthusiasts is proving that art does not have to be a solitary pursuit.
The Salt Lake Lettering Club has about 50 active lettering artists; plus an additional 150 casual members. It was started in 2014 by lettering artist Becca Clason to create a community of artists in her field.
“We do everything from casual get-togethers where we hang out, draw together, ask questions and share supplies and tools; to more structured workshops where we coordinate a presenter and have a class where we learn niche skills such as bookbinding, pen calligraphy, and sign painting,” says Danelle Cheney. Cheney took over leading the club in 2015 when Clason moved to Salt Lake City.
The inclusive group—which doesn’t require a formal membership or fee—includes hobbyists as well as full-time professional lettering artists. Members use a variety of media to create their pieces; from digital lettering on iPads and calligraphy pens to Crayola markers and broad nibbed ink pens.
The club hosts public drawing meetups twice a month at Hopkins Brewing. In appreciation, members of the Lettering Club are now creating graphics for the brewery such as menu designs and signs.
“It’s awesome because they give us a lot of creative freedom to try different experimental letterings that are not always possible for some projects,” says Cheney. “It’s fun because we get to rotate who takes a turn on doing the projects. Everyone has an opportunity to pitch in.”
The group has expanded its horizons and is securing work across the city. Members designed and painted a group mural in the new atrium at The Shops at South Town, featuring the phrase, “We Make The Hive Thrive.” And they have finished the design phase of another mural through the South Salt Lake Arts Council in the Promise South Salt Lake office, an after-school program for children.
In July, members were hired to create illustrations for Craft Lake City’s sidewalk plakarts (German for “billboards”). The artists lettered and illustrated poems from five Utah poets. The rotating installation, entitled Celebration of the Hand, is in collaboration with The Center for the Living City and The Temporary Museum of Permanent Change.
“I’m passionate about trying to find group projects because I do think it’s a great way to learn and to develop client relationships and to build your own portfolio,” says Cheney. “There’s plenty of work to go around, so if we can share it, that’s awesome.” The club has even started designing and selling pins, t-shirts, and zines.
“In 2015, I just thought of it as a group of friends who hung out and drew together; so to be able to have clients and work together on murals and these cool downtown billboards is very inspiring to me,” says Cheney. “I feel very lucky that we’ve had such a strong group of people who are willing to jump in and help where it’s needed and work on these projects that help get everyone some visibility and to get people excited about lettering.”
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To learn more about Salt Lake Lettering Club, including dates for meetups and workshops, visit their website, or find them on Facebook or Instagram at @saltlakeletteringclub.
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