A good friend of mine has a burgeoning pottery business. She sells handmade ceramics online and at local shops and markets, and recently took on her first studio in an old converted barn where she makes beautiful things and holds workshops.
The latest development in this business plan was to ask me to make her a hand-painted sign for the workshop
This was a particularly important commission for me. It’s nice to be involved in your friend’s projects and I was given creative freedom with the design and style of the piece, so as well as producing something effective for her business, I was also looking for a strong addition to my design and sign writing portfolio. The project also involved different disciplines, from preliminary pencil sketches, some work in illustrator, to hand-lettering and gilding.
I had in mind the idea of producing the sign in black and white but was keen to create some kind of effect for the main logo panel. There has been an old cigar box of silver leaf on the workshop shelf for some time, a mixture of transfer and loose leaf that my dad is certain belonged to my granddad. I was keen to put it to good use and eager to gain some more gilding experience.
Seems I’ve been a little too busy to post lately. I promise to write something of more substance soon, but for now I’ll just share some photos from a recent lining job on this beautiful old steam engine that one of our clients recently had re-sprayed.
Vaughan had previously lined the wheel spokes a year or so ago, so it was good to get involved in some of the action this time.
New hand-painted sign just finished for a revamped hair salon in Christchurch, Dorset.
This one is significant for me as it’s mostly my own work and I was involved in all stages of production – from the design and layout, to the hand lettering.
The client had a strong idea of the style they were after but I was given a lot of freedom with the typography and overall look of the logo and board; and Vaughan was keen for me to see this one through and, apart from assistance with the fascia preparation and second-coating of the lettering, he let me get on with signwriting this one myself.
Prompted by the arrival of the second volume of Colt Bowden‘s zine “How To Paint Signs & Influence People” I decided it was high time I took a break from the attempts at painting perfect lines and block alphabets to something with a little more flow and character. So here are my first casual letters and, hopefully, my first steps in creating my own lettering style.
The zine, which you can purchase through Bowden’s etsy page, has taken a step up in quality from the first edition, which covered the basics of painting egyptian and block letters. It feels like a sturdier publication all round and features contributions from several renowned sign painters along with a hefty input from the Pre-Vinylite Society. These contributions are helpful in highlighting the individual touches that a signwriter brings to their casual lettering – copying established typefaces is one thing, but here you have unique lettering styles developed through time and practice, that simply can’t be replicated by a computer.
Following the welcome arrival of the above publication I took a trip into deeper Dorset on a small camping excursion which included a stop in Bridport. If you’re a book lover this place is a dream and I managed to find this for a mere couple of pounds…..