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Hand-Painted in LA: Some Los Angeles Signs

Hand-Painted in LA: Some Los Angeles Signs

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Hand-Painted in LA: Some Los Angeles Signs is Bryan Yonki's love letter to the city and its signs. The following is the review from BLAG 04.

Growing up in Santiago, Chile, Bryan Yonki witnessed the increasingly regular displacement of hand-painted signs with vinyl lettering. It was therefore refreshing to see so much brushwork on the streets after his move to Los Angeles in 2014. Conscious of their vulnerability to the gentrification enveloping the city, he began to photograph what he saw while exploring his new home, sharing the pictures via Instagram.

Another move to Portland in 2022 prompted some reflection on that archive of images, over 1,500 of which are now published in his book, Hand-Painted in LA: Some Los Angeles Signs. Bryan describes the book’s goal as documenting “a specific 'moment' of the vernacular aesthetic of Los Angeles”, featuring “many signs that are no longer there, making it a historic record of a bygone era”.

The book was a collaboration with Ethan Hassi, who worked to edit and arrange the collage of photos within its 380 pages. Bryan describes Ethan’s work as giving the pictures “a cohesive narrative of the commercial landscape, with its captivating imagery and colours that evoke a sensory experience, much like when you’re strolling through the commercial areas of LA”.

The book features an extraordinary diversity of painted signs for businesses of all kinds, with English- and Spanish-language signs sitting side by side throughout. It is one to look through, and return to, and will no doubt take on increasing significance as more and more of the signs within are lost without pause for thought.


  • 140 x 217 mm (5.5 x 8.5 in)
  • Softcover, 380 pages
  • 725 g (26 oz)
  • Published 2023

Note for EU Customers

This book is shipped from the UK. If your country charges a local value added tax on books then you will be required to pay this locally, in addition to any administrative charges from the delivery company.

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