Author: nick2828 (page 19 of 84)

ways of lettering

NEXT Workshop FEB 8th – Info


I was thinking about the best way to get my students hooked up one sign writing and it all kinda fell into 2 primary categories.

How to make letters in paint… by linear process or volumes (and then both).

51 Linear letter formation

1469966_102025Garden Flat

Essentially it comes down to making friends with the tools, the brushes and the mahl stick.


Lettering with a brush is a magical process because we normally learn to write using pens and pencils.  These are hard objects that inscribe edges and flowing motifs or segments.


With the brush we are using a sensual soft thing to create razor sharp, hard graphics.  It’s that paradox the makes the marks so intense and exciting, when using the brush.


No other instrument can copy the energy of the brush and hand.

More shortly…

 ‘The right Brush’

Wolverine centre

House numbers – hand painted by NGS of London

Vintage Writer NGSLondon 



of Hand Painted London House Numbers

numeral 1 NGS signwriting London, House Numbers.






Every numeral is hand drawn and carefully laid up by hand onto the architecture before final execution.

The final effect is retention of the highest quality for the luxury home.  This numeral needs to reflect the value of the 23 million pound home it tags.


They have to be made just right.. and doing that really well is a surprisingly articulate process and particular part of the sign art that few truly appreciate or master.  

Each numeral is first drawn by hand or in vector graphics as above and modelled around the personality and character of the home.

In the case of our Vintage Bespoke series, the numeral is printed as a layout and then positioned on the home and finally refined by pencil before making onto the surface it as the complete and painted piece.

Each stage rarefies it’s beauty and allows us to claim to be probably the finest numeral signwriting artists in the world.

– not simply numbers but beautifully crafted and important objects. 

… our painted numerals are growing in popularity across London.


Vintage charm

Numeral 50






A classic statement for the home is essential today.. and great typographic design is crucial to your look.

Below are recent examples of our sign work for Business and Home, London, 88 Fleet St, St. Brides.


CASE:  LINK 3D crafted numeral 88 Fleet St

88 Fleet Street NGS lettering



Numerals and door insignia are an incredibly important statement for any home or business… the very first message that we have arrived at our chosen destination.  


Writing numerals needs a fair bit of consideration – it’s a tight mix of typeface design, craft and architectural art.  

For this double pillar set above (Nos. 22 and 24 Cranley Gardens), which adorn a 9 million pound hotel, my sable brush and little pot of black paint had to reflect that value.

I first needed to establish the perfect match in style, sizing and position and immediately set off down Cranley Gdns with tape measure in hand.  Fairly straight forward I hear you say… nah… every number and every height setting was different on each set of pillars.

Measuring the heights, from deck of immediate neighbours Nos 2o and 26 I found whopping 20mm difference in numeral height positioning –  I decided on placing 22 in the balanced mean between the two differentials of c51” H and that of No.26 which was an inch and a half higher.  

By sight I judged it about right at 51.5” for No. 22 and 51.75” for No24.

The font sizes and Roman hand written styling also varied considerably up and down the street as they were all written by different hands over the past 30-75 years or so.

This handsome, elegant, set I made (shown above) was traced from 2 neighbouring lettered pillars –  tweaked around the serif cascades and glyph contours, making them my own: distinctive, classic, yet beautifully modern characters.

In the end I measured every pillar numeral on Cranley Gardens in order to know with full certainty, my final measure is not by ruler but by integrity.


Not only do we writers have to craft up a fine letter (often on a rough surface) but we need to marry them to the era, feeling and style of their neighbours.

It was incredibly nostalgic sharing the platform of decades of West London’s finest writers who’s work and legacy surrounded me as I wrote.


Restoring original fonts numerals

NGS made the sketch and final artwork in Photoshop,  for this nice gilded restoration numeral in Muswell Hill, London.

 Photoshop conversion below   

Gothic Sans serif – Dishoom Shoreditch

Classic cafe – TAPPED & PACKED. LTD. 

193 Wardour Street Soho London W1


Cafe No 193 NGS signs of london

Contemporary fonts – Ampersand hotel 10 Layout


  88 Fleet Street NGS lettering

Heritage NGS Cornhill Collection

I am starting to collate some of the finest carved lettering and numerals from the Cornhill in City of London. These will be converted into paintable fonts thus continuing the fine tradition of my 3 generations of family letter carving.

 Nick Garrett


Older posts Newer posts

© 2017 NGS

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑