British Lorries In Colour


I felt like sharing some shots from a recent book find. We undertook some handpainted work on a restored vintage truck for a client a few months ago and, while discussing the design and work brief with the client he pulled out an old hardback book called British Lorries In Colour, by S.W. Stevens-Stratten, to give me some guidelines on what he was hoping to achieve.

He let me use the book as a reference but it proved such a valuable resource that, upon completion of the work, I felt the need to track it down on ebay for keeps to add to the ever-expanding sign / lettering library.

Here’s some of the examples that stood out for me in particular.


vintage-trucks-006 vintage-trucks-008 vintage-trucks-010 vintage-trucks-012 vintage-trucks-014 vintage-trucks-016 vintage-trucks-018 vintage-trucks-020 vintage-trucks-022 vintage-trucks-024


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