HSHD Ep.34 Lost Design Treasures of America with Bill Rose – Junk Type & Neon Signs

This week I got to have an awesome chat with the man behind Recapturist and the best selling book ‘Junk Type’, Bill Rose. Bill has spent over a decade travelling around America capturing the lost roadside treasures of the USA. Neon signs, logo design, junk type, shop fronts and anything that catches his eye to preserve in a photograph. Check out Bill’s site recapturist.com to see his collection and his map of treasure! This interview was an absolute joy!

Recapturist is Bill Rose. Bill Rose documents the aesthetics of vintage American design. The most visually pleasing parts of American design are fading away. The glorious neon signs that once lined our roadsides are nearly extinct. Mid-Century modern architecture is increasingly hard to find among non-residential structures. And products that used to come branded with machine-stamped chrome badges and hand-drawn typographical elements are now made overseas and marked with plastic decals.

This tragic state of affairs is widening the gap between the golden age of design and the present day. So Bill has spent the last decade-plus on a mission to capture the finest examples of what’s left. He travels the back roads of America looking for neon signs, junkyards, yard sales, antique stores, estate sales–anywhere evidence of these endangered designs can still be found. The result is a graphic collection of design and typography from an era that predates the computers and specialized software used by modern-day designers. These images depict forms that were conceived, created, and produced manually on a drawing table using tools and techniques that are nearly obsolete today. These designers were true craftsmen. Bill’s hope is that his site http://www.recapturist.com can serve as a reference guide–a resource that helps bridge the design and typographic styles of the past with those of today–and perhaps even be a source of inspiration for whatever comes next. https://twitter.com/recapturist // https://www.instagram.com/recapturist/ // https://www.instagram.com/junktype // https://www.facebook.com/recapturist // http://www.pinterest.com/recapturist

He Shoots He Draws Podcast - Bill Rose - Junk Type - Recaprturist

One thought on “HSHD Ep.34 Lost Design Treasures of America with Bill Rose – Junk Type & Neon Signs”

  1. Again you guys did it, This is a very different interview thats shows BOTH guys interest and passion (sorry!) about Design, be it graphic, type etc. I actually, at one point in time, started taking photo’s of the local advertising board near me but then dropped it when they removed the board. I should have continued as, over the years, I would have a good collection of how adverts (graphics/type etc) have changed. I enjoyed the views as I travelled between Los Angeles and Las Vegas in my younger days but when you travel across the USA then the whole scene changes and this podcast reminded me of how interesting designs were within states let alone the country. Some more like this please

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