Sweets & Treats

P1020563Here’s the latest piece of gold leaf work from Vaughan Jones.

This is a piece we’ve prepared for a sweet shop that’s being installed within a local retirement home in Bournemouth. They wanted to retain the company branding (typeface, colour etc.) but with a traditional, authentic touch.


A Personal Milestone

P1020549Just returned from my first official signwriting job, painting these letters on the side of an office building in Bournemouth with my dad. I did the layout and design work on computer and then created paper templates which we pounced onto the wall.

P1020555The surface was a little uneven in places which made it difficult to get perfectly clean lines. It was also a challenge working off a ladder for the first time, trying to balance with paint, brush and mahlstick in hand.

P1020556P1020552P1020553I should also add that my dad worked at about three times my speed, but he does have fifty years experience under his belt so I’m not going to feel too bad about it.



DSCN4403For many years one of the most commonly utilized tricks of the sign painter is the use of projected letters and shadow.  As E. Sanderson puts it in his essay published in The Modern Signwriter (1954) “..the representation of any style of letter which is cut out of solid substance and has three-dimensions, ie. length, breadth and thickness”.

Above we have my rather primitive early attempts to get to grips with these tricks.

Below we have some further examples taken from the same E. Sanderson essay.

Cast Shadows by E. Sanderson

Cast Shadows by E. Sanderson


photo(3)We were out in Okeford Fitzpaine this week, a small village near Blandford in Dorset, fitting 600mm high vinyl letters to the sides of two 10 metre long trailers for a haulage contractor.

Although many of the companies’ lorries are fitted with vinyl graphics, one of the vehicles we were working on had a beautifully (albeit faded) signwritten and pinstriped cab which i felt was worth a photograph or two.

photo(4)photo(5)My dad commented that it looked like the work of Ken Hughes, a long-since departed Dorset signwriter, a detail that was confirmed later that afternoon while in conversation with the company boss.

I’ve previously expressed my admiration for casual lettering styles and how writers can develop their own recognizable style. The lettering on this truck cab mostly consisted of basic block and serif alphabets, yet somehow the letters were still recognizable as those of a specific sign painter.

About a year ago my dad painted a vintage truck for the same company. He was requested to literally ‘perform’ the work as part of their 40th anniversary and painted the vehicle during the celebrations with an audience of onlookers watching his every stroke! Here it is…..

ND Young vintage truck