A few weeks ago, I was approached by my boss asking if I wanted to head out to west coast for the opening of Eataly L.A. – of course, the answer was a resounding yes! As the conversation moved forward, she went on to explain that they had a lot of chalkboards in the store, and they wanted me to letter on them.
It hit me: my day job and my side hustle were merging in the most beautiful way. Four days later, I was in L.A. with so many chalk lettering supplies (shoutout to the dustless Butterstix by Jaq Jaq Bird!) and ready to tackle this task.
I did a quick walk-through of the store with our head graphics manager, Tracey, and she began to show me the various places they needed help: Il Pesce Cucina (fish restaurant) and their retail meat and fish counters. Then, she left me to find a space in the construction zone that was the store, and I began working.
Since this was my first adventure in a more serious setting of chalk lettering, I did a bit of research beforehand and tried to source the right tools.
WHAT TO BUY
- Laser Level (I picked this one by Ryobi, found at The Home Depot; it suctions to the surface, but does make a noise when it's on!)
- Ruler and/or tape measure
- White pencil for drafting
- Pencil sharpener with large opening to sharpen chalk
- Butterstix white + colored dustless chalk by Jaq Jaq Bird
- Chalk holder (find them online, or Jaq Jaq Bird has them inside their colored Butterstix packs!)
- Chalk markers (my favorite is the Craft Smart brand from Michaels)
- Linen/cotton cloth and a Magic Eraser
Something to keep in mind about Butterstix dustless chalk by Jaq Jaq Bird is that it works best on non-porous surfaces. So, if you plan to paint a piece of wood with chalkboard paint, the chalk may not come off as easily as you'd like. Butterstix works in a similar way to pastels, as is oil-based. For my projects, the team was looking for something that was semi-permanent, so I didn't find any issues in using Butterstix on their chalkboards (which were made using chalkboard paint). In general, I always suggest investing in real slate or chalkboard material for your projects for a higher-quality finish. Plus, since they would be displayed in a restaurant setting, the dustless chalk was the best choice.
IL PESCE CUCINA
Freehand chalk drawings, lettering, modern calligraphy + layout ft. Butterstix dustless chalk by Jaq Jaq Bird
Layout + lettering
Layout, freehand drawing + lettering
Modern calligraphy + layout