The Pre-Vinylettes

The Pre-Vinylettes are a group of women, trans, and post-binary sign painters and lettering artists who celebrate diversity in the historically male dominated trade of sign painting. The movement began with a collaboration between Meredith Kasabian and Shelby Rodeffer to curate The Pre-Vinylette Society: An International Showcase of Women Sign Painters, an exhibition of more than sixty international artists at the Chicago Art Department in September 2017, and has continued to grow in recent years.

The name of our movement—the Pre-Vinylettes—is a tongue-in-cheek re-appropriation of the grammatical “ette” suffix, which typically denotes a female or smaller version of a male or more substantial (read: better) thing. As language is at the forefront of sign making, this movement allows for more women's, trans, and post-binary voices to be heard than most historical and even recent surveys of the trade have acknowledged. By re-appropriating the “ette” formation, the women, trans, and post-binary artists of the Pre-Vinylite Society assert their rightful place in the long tradition of sign painting and the lettering arts.

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