It was common among small builders in France to hand-paint names - the pinstriper usually could do that quite nicely. Decals cost money, and if you make 10-20 frames a year, it may not be worth it. I have seen Ducheron, Balleuil and others with hand-painted graphics.
The same applies to headbadges, which were found (in France) only on
bikes by makers who also had lower price-point bikes made in large
quantities (usually not in-house), such as Jo Routens, Follis and
others. When you think about it, to make headbadges for a very
small-scale production isn't cost-effective. Plus they add weight,
which at the time of the technical trials, really did matter (in the
public's imagination, not on the road).
Jan Heine, Seattle
Vintage Bicycle Quarterly
c/o Il Vecchio Bicycles
140 Lakeside Ave, Ste. C
Seattle WA 98122
> However, some others besides Herse and
>Legnano were hand painting the name prior to '83. I'm guessing this
>Colin Laing to be from the early 70's:
>Not only is the name painted on the down tube (no stenciling used here
>either), but the apparent client's name and Colin's signature are also
>hand painted (see other pix).
>Special thanks to Morgan Fletcher for allowing me to post these pix to
>his great site.