After 40 years of hand-painting signs across Chicago, Ches Perry talks about his unique craft.

Speaking on the theme of ‘Freedom,’ Ches Perry of Right Way Signs talks about his history as a sign painter in Chicago since the 1960s. Along with his son Alex, they started Right Way Signs 2 years ago and have been painting some of the most notable and beautiful sites across the city. In this talk, they share the lessons they’ve learned and the fear of heights they’ve discovered they have with the CreativeMornings/Chicago audience.

The Chicago chapter of CreativeMornings is organized by Kim Knoll & Kyle Eertmoed of Knoed Creative. Follow along with us at @Chicago_CM!

Video by Ben Derico

About the speaker

Ches Perry is one of Chicago’s original sign painters and muralists who has been painting the signs and walls of our city by hand since 1970. After being trained by the best at the Institute of Lettering & Design in Chicago, he bought Brownie Signs in Evanston. Business was booming through the 1970s and 80s. By the early 90s the computer sign industry took over, turning hand painted signs and murals into a lost art. Ches, however, pushed on and continued to hand paint signs while also offering digitally printed and vinyl signage. He sold the business in 2005 and stayed on as an employee, mainly working with vinyl graphics but missed hand lettering signs. The recent years have brought him much joy to see the resurgence in hand lettering and renewed appreciation for the character and detail that comes with a hand painted sign or mural. In 2012, he opened Right Way Signs with his son Alex in an effort to bring the art of sign painting back to Chicago. Together, they launched a Kickstarter campaign that was successfully funded, doubling its goal and giving Ches the chance to hand letter 270 signs that were created for backers all over the world. Now at the age of 64, he isn’t slowing down any time soon. Ches continues to play ice hockey, a sport that he grew up watching and playing in his hometown of Newton, Newfoundland, Canada. And his craft is in high demand for businesses all over the city like Glazed & Infused, Heritage General Store, Hotel Lincoln, The Winchester, Dollop Coffee Co., and many more.

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Ches is a bad ass. Thanks Kim and Team for putting this together!

Luis Rivas • November 19, 2014