la carnita

Meet the guy behind Toronto's hand-lettered signs

Toronto is filled with nostalgia-inducing hand-lettered signs. And one local artist is responsible for lots of them.

Rcade Wizard, or Andrew Kidder, is a full-time sign painter. He uses a variety of techniques including hand-lettering and water-gilding (gold-leafing) on signs and menus across the city. "The good thing about sign painting is that it's out there to be seen," says Kidder who doesn't do much marketing.

According to Maclean's, many small businesses and corporations (including Starbucks, Chipotle and Toronto Hydro One) use hand-lettering in order to evoke a personal and authentic aesthetic. This down-home style may be ubiquitous in Toronto, but it's keeping Kidder busy.

la cubana

If you've ever left your house and walked around the city, you've likely seen his work. Kidder's clients include La Carnita, Home of the Brave, Bar Volo, The Drake and La Cubana.

okey doke

You can also spot his work at Okey Doke Tattoo Shop, Community 54, Nomad, Furlough, The Yukon, Chantecler, The Federal and Miss Things among many others.

cask days

As the featured artists at the 11th annual Cask Days, he created all of the branded artwork for the festival and even painted a massive piece on site."Everybody was basically carrying a glass with my artwork, so that was kind of neat to see," he says.

nomad

Kidder says he adopted his Rcade Wizard moniker during his "graffiti days" in the 1990s. While he'll occasionally paint walls for fun, you can see the majority of his work in storefront windows.

the yukon

Interested in more Toronto creators? Check out our profile of the guy behind many of Toronto's most recognizable restaurant signs.

Photo by Jesse Milns, Natta Summerky and Ryan Bolton.


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