Monday, May 11, 2015

Art of the Sign

Our objective to mark the Wyman waypoints from San Francisco to New York City just took a giant leap forward.  Like the signs of the "Lincoln Highway Association" and "Historic US Route 66" organizations have done for the motoring public, the Wyman Memorial Project seeks to mark all the points along way of the Grand Tour.

At a glance, the sign should tell the whole story: who, what, when and where to find more information.  The iconic "Wyman Pose" is the perfect image for the sign.  His adventurous stance next to his motorcycle, facing east, captures the spirit of his epic saga.

The best example of the Wyman Pose is its first appearance on page 465 of the "Bicycle World and Motorcycle Review" published in July, 1903.  Try as we might, we just couldn't get the image to reproduce on the 12" x 18" reflective sign in the quality we wanted. 

Proof 2
Proof 1
As you can see by the first proof from the sign maker, it was grainy and almost impossible to tell it was a guy with a motorcycle.  The sign company art department  enhanced the image.  There was a slight improvement, but not much.  We had the proofs made into actual full size signs, but we were still not satisfied with the finished product.

So, we turned to the professionals.  We contacted Bill Shaw, Editor-In-Chief of "Iron Butt Magazine", and explained our problem.  After mulling it over some, Bill suggested we contact Steve Hobart, Director of Photography, at the magazine an expert in graphic images.  Steve immediately identified the problem and suggested the solution -- pay a professional artist to draw the image in black and white.  Steve suggested an artist he knew that might help.

We commissioned artist and graphic designer, Adam Stephens of Tehachapi, CA, to do an inking of the Wyman Pose suitable for graphic reproduction in a variety of formats.  Adam, a stay-at-home dad and motorcycle enthusiast, accepted the commission.  Our instructions to him were simple.  Make George and his motorcycle the focus of the image. 

Adam delivered a value far beyond our expectations.  Not only did he produce the inking art we asked for, he took the extra step of creating the Wyman Waypoint sign you see above.  He is even throwing in a cartoon drawing of George.  Adam granted the Wyman Memorial Project full ownership of the images recognizing our nonprofit status and worthy goals for the Project.  We asked Adam to sign his work, as we will be proud to display his art at the many "Points Along the Way"

With these excellent images of George, in every possible graphics format, the Wyman Memorial Project can spread the Wyman story..."Linking the Past to the Present to Enrich the Future."   Help us by joining the "Friend of George"

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