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NGS THIS WEEKS HOT POSTS
STOPPRESS!!! Congratulations to NGS’s Jack Hollands for earning a First Class Degree yesterday!!! MAKING LONDON MORE BEAUTIFUL
NGS THIS WEEKS HOT POSTS
WORKING TOGETHER – keeping the project clear and easy
Communication is everything and starts with detailed sharing of all design information – clarity always transfers across to the finished sign itself so we encourage as much info as possible.
We are highly communicative as project partners and work at getting the preparation just right in order to deliver the painted work without hitch. It’s the difference… it guarantees a sensational final product on time.
- Fwd your design
- NGS confirm or tweak for visual layout
- Final checks on layout style
- Writing on site
Organisation lies at the heart of what NGS do – We will schedule you in and keep you there come rain or…
WHATEVER YOU WANT…
CAN DO is very important and I understand that your logo will need care and precision.
Whether you want sharp cool modern zen-graphic minimalism, or grungy retro vintage lettering, give me a call or email me.
A MAN OF FINE LETTERS – A FINE ART TRAINING COUNTS
Traditional signwriting?? … it’s much more than that today really.
I am a traditional typeface designer maintaining all the classical beautification of yesteryear, yet today I am executing work in a purely modern design context -
What makes me different from other signwriters is in the words of my clients is Freshness..
There is a secret to how I do it compared to other writers.
Most signwriters started in signwriting and journeyed on from there. I didn’t. I started in the Royal Portrait Society and Royal Academy of Art. But I loved writing at that time more than portraiture. The intensity of that type of artistry gave me the edge… the secret to the beauty in my lettering is fine art.
And it is a big difference because it will give you quality and success.
… after decades of dedication you start to realise you are a product of your forefathers great efforts.
… if you need a job doing ask a busy person – I’m busy and I can do your sign next week.
Real signwriting is an unbeatable option – it says so much about you.
– Real Signwriting has beauty and depth
– Signwriting is full of character
– Real Signwriting is rich and ages beautifully, still looking stunning after many years
PART 3 Gallery
Thanks for dropping by.
Browse the website and find something you really love then fwd yr email.
Beautiful Painted Signs: by eye, by hand – 3 decades TOP
- Looking for the best way to attract new customers?
- Re-create a hi viz stunning new brand logo?
or simply just get your name out there?
My traditional hand painted sign writing service delivers a clear beautiful message for you – a quality sign to launch your product and name.
When I make a sign for someone it is incredibly important because it will play a huge part in building their business
GALLERY – more signs by Nick Garrett
Project design enquiries: 07540096560
I think traditional makers stick at their craft continuously – that is the main defining quality. But they also embrace useful change that adds to product quality. If you do something continuously it gets better naturally…
A DESIGN HERITAGE:
GREAT GRANDFATHER TO G’SON ALWAYS BY HAND
My legacy proudly includes my distant forefather Hector Linton who whittled up the Cutty Sark.
But I have directly benefited from the guidance of my grandfather and my 3 generation London lettering heritage (see article: Portrait of my grandfather Francis Baker LINK), which will all help us create exactly what you are looking for.
Anything is possible when you work by hand with a real team of professionals.
My writing is always by hand!
When you see someone string together a length of block letters with a little shadow it fills you with admiration… you can’t admire a vinyl machine cutting letters in that way; and that admiration makes you feel so so good inside. That’s the power of tradition, craftsmanship, artistry an love of what you do.
Video: Refining Windsor Bold font…
or email me:
Traditional Signwriter London
For Murals, Fascias, Vans, Gilding,
Custom Typeface design, Brand design, logo creation
Nick Garrett – Design, Artistics, Signwriting & Gilding
Jack Hollands – In-training. Drawing tech, Signwriting & Gilding
Caterina Conforti – Restoration Gilding (UK/Italy)
Elisa Massari – AutoCad, 3D rendering
NGS THIS WEEKS HOT POSTS
“What is a tradition?”
NGS THIS WEEKS HOT POSTS
the entity of beauty
… when we blow up a letter on-screen no matter the font
it is only ever a curve or a straight
No vectors – vectors are a sadness and must be lost…
… when we strike the letter from our heart it reveals the entity of utter beauty… there is no purer way and no finer beauty.
When you move the curve you must know the finest moment of perfection.
Many can paint great letters … few can strike them utterly beautifully.
That is what we must do. That is what I do.
However just because the writer wields a brush with scant reference and drawings this does not define automatically the onset of beauty. There are many writers who also lack the experience of visual beauty. The experience of touching, smelling, tasting perfection. Seeing a Massacio or a Da Vinci drawing.
Carving a place close to truth.
This is meditation.
The brush sends us into meditation.
Yet we must strive to sharpen the sword… empty the cup.
In truth and not by ego.
How else can we write perfectly – unless we embrace imperfection.
And know them as the same.
Yes, but only to the shallow fool.
To the artisan it is the only way.
Where the mind goes the brush follows and where it follows in truth it leads us to great places.
Urbanization is our canvas
Cannabis is terrible for signwriting as it dupes the artist – never trust this in a visual artist
The city drives us
We must make it beautiful
Using a stencil is the admission of several things… none of them good
I can barely speak of it… such dysfunction must be educated and changed.
When it rains wait
When it pours go home
When it is warm – this is the glory of true reward
Never expect a sign man to design your sign as part of the work
Pay him well or risk your company’s failure by virtue of your error.
Signs are providers of wealth and name.
Without a good truthful sign you will have none.
This Post is all about Leadenhall Market’s new Barbour store sign gild by Nick Garrett Signwriting – London’s NGS.
NGS case: Barbour new store Leadenhall Market – gilding in the absolute centre of London… local blokes with brushes..
History: The Traditional London Market
The market dates back to the 14th century. Originally a meat, game and poultry market, it stands on what was the centre of Roman London. A number of commercial retailers are also located in the market, including clothes shops and a pen shop , the newest being the Barbour shop, the subject of this article.
The ornate roof structure, painted green, maroon and cream, and cobbled floors of the current structure, designed in 1881 by Sir Horace Jones.
An early 20th century view of the market and actual site of our recent project beneath the colonnade, to right hand side
From 1990 to 1991 the market received a dramatic redecoration, enhancing its architectural character and detail. The redecoration scheme received a special mention in the Civic Trust Awards 1994. The market is a Grade II* Listed Building, being listed in 1972.
Leadenhall Market formed part of the marathon course of the 2012 Olympic Games.
NGS and the Barbour project – Unit 31 L Mkt – Pieces out of the Jigsaw
Jigsaw is about to be painted out forever…
David Wong the director of the market was responsible for putting Andrew Gill of Active Interiors in touch with me regarding the re-paint and new gild of the 6 main fascia panels in this wonderful heritage landmark.
It’s one thing climbing up a ladder in Notting Hill but another planet working on the very architecture that depicts so much in the eyes of the world and her visitors, the essence of traditional London. This project started and continued in a delightfully fun and meaningful way for me as it brought together the very best of what it means to be a truly professional artist… and passing that tradition on. A London signwriter is a London signwriter.
The deadline was fairly tight and after identifying the font style and forming up the layout in perfect space we,the veritable Jack Hollands and myself, arrived on site to commence work brushes in hand.
Above: NGS’s Jack Hollands making headway with his first application of gold leaf on oil size.
First task was to clean the fascia and find a good tea maker. That done as we were surrounded but such establishments we started the rub down with wet dry, taking off the existing gilded lettering which read JIGSAW and painting out with grey.
My wife will be heartbroken…
We were hoping the repaint could have been localised but the fascia was too faded.
The first thing we argued about however was how the existing lettering was made in the first place… after a couple of minutes I knew previous lettering had been vinyl stencilled and gilded and so we had no remorse in taking down this, as we saw it, the vinyl gilding was a complete waste of opportunity to beautify this Grade II buildings.
How sad that the stencil had invaded such an opportunity at brilliance and craft… we sanded with impunity!
My intention was to make a series of stunning hand gilded sign panels for the client and work had begun.
- Erect tower
- Undercoat existing lettering.
- First coat and cut in to gilded numerals and coach-lining.
- Second coat same
- Gold Leaf Lettering
Hard work and the perfect distraction… Brogue hunting
It had been a while as they say and getting it up was hilarious… the tower that is! HSS kept us waiting until 2pm on day 1 but once on site we didn’t waste any time in making complete fools of ourselves with lots of tower sections and poles whirling about and not the faintest what with them to do.
There was a lot going on around the place and Jack was seriously on form finding a local Brogue shoe maker which had us gawking through the window at first tea break.
Local inspiration – Pictures tell a truly glorious local story
Working in this harvest of design was the perfect setting to take young Jack’s developing skills quite a way forward and on day 2 I had him start up his own fascia -
It is amazing what passion for the art can do for a trainee. His work came on tremendously!!
Standby for Jack’s stunning designing of the new NGS logo and final Degree show work – invitations included.
The font we grabbed from a previous photoshoot and formed the title firstly in Photoshop. The typeface was redrawn to create certain anomalies and poetics such as slightly irregular serifs, shading spans and refinements to the ‘R’ character form.
I montaged the word Barbour from the letters gathered by Jack’s iPhone and overlaid with Clarendon Bold. This was tweaked to fit the existing letter span.
Finally the characters wer redrawn in PS3 aligning the serifs nad characteristics to the original Leadenhall typeface.
The gold to be used was Handover’s, specifically pressed to the requirements of the day.
On start-up the very low working temperature made the 3 Hour Lefranc gold size slow going and difficult to get to open up and flow.
The first batch of gold leaf was rejected and returned for a freshly pressed batch of 23ct 6.75 ton pressure.
Once this problem was corrected with the aid of chocolate and course humour, the gilding went smoothly.
Shading; The black Oneshot enamel shade was zipped on with a shorter haired writer size 5.
Deserving of only the real thing – Gold Leaf
I was amazed at how many overseas visitors flowed through the market every day and it certainly brought home to me the importance of the City Corporation realising that hand painted lettering is really the only way to go for such a special icon:
The amount of tour groups visiting Leadenhall deserve the real thing. Not the vinyl masking that was used before. Jack Hollands
TM and facts
Work duration for 6 fascias 5.5 days – 3 artists.
Nick Garrett, Jack Hollands, Sam James
Access double staged tower.
Tapes: Frog low tac and Leylands yellow sharp cut.
Orange Gold size: Lefranc from Cornellisons’s
Tea: English Breakfast
Beer: Young’s Bitter
Leaving site finished up left us both feeling hollow and sad… fulfilled, yet yearning for the next big project challenge.
A wonderful week in a wonderful setting – Old London town.
A visual overview of some work I’ve completed over the years, some stories and unsolved mysteries.
My first ever sign was for a tiny antique shop in Herne Hill, London and when my grandfather saw it, (he was a master stone mason and letter cutter) he was quite happy with my quasi home-brew Roman lettering pointing out a couple of errors that I put right – that was in 1975.
I promptly bought my first fabled Letraset book… wow! I had entered another world.
Above: November 2011, with Jam and Bread, Lee High Rd., London.
FINE ART Graduation - First major Brewery client: Watney‘s, London
After leaving art college in early 80s I immediately set up a sign-writing studio, first in Streatham then Battersea.
I was very lucky meeting my main career mentor, Ron Bennett . Ron took me under his wing, was head architect at Watney’s who tasked me with my first gilding job – The Windsor Arms. The font Cooper Black a really tacky type of 70?s font which I had gilded in my bedroom the next morning and back to him in the afternoon. We worked together for 4 years until his retirement.
Above: Sir Alexander Flemming – my second major sign commission to Watney’s in 1981
Taylor Walker Brewery, Benskins and Ind Coop
From there I went on to work with Will Allbrook at Oldham signs and by 1986 had wandered into the world of interiors mastering faux finishes on the way. I worked on hundreds of pubs though few photos remain. Mostly fascias and pictorial signs in the gold leaf red shadow hallmark of the group.
Below are a few of the sites I remember working on over those and intervening years.
Worked on the De Hems amenity boards and gilded letters, during the 80s for Mike at Taylor Walker who then introduced me to my long standing friend Will Allbrook at Oldham Signs.
The Finsbury Park Tavern mystery
Where art thou now my fair sign???
Twelve Pins, Finsbury Park, N4
Made by Ewan-M http://wiki.worldflicks.org/the_12_pins.html
The empty sign outside this pub on a busy junction by Finsbury Park station. The cannon suggests it was a former Taylor Walker pub, if I’m not mistaken. ()
Ha!! An empty space because it was one of my first great pictorial signs I made for Mike Jacks, the chief designer at Taylor Walker HO Muswell Hill in 1981. It won Best Pub Sign of the year at the Design Centre, Haymarket London, and I guess the panels are now adorning Mikes dining room!!
It was an image of a park keeper sweeping leaves in Autumn, at the park gates on one side and similar elbow on broom pose in Spring on the other.
Mike recruited me to inject fresh ideas and concept across a host of projects sharing his studio in HO. What a great experience.
Chalk boarding is a lot of fun… below new poster concept for Ted Baker.
Linkedin Sign Designer and Maker Recommendation
Oldham signs review William Allbrook,
“It was great to bump into Nick again recently on Linked In. In the early eighties I was running the Pub re-signing programme for Oldham Signs in the South East. Nick was a very talented pictorial artist and had his own workshops to build fascias etc. Nick could always be relied upon to come up with original and often stunning designs for pictorials and had a real feel for the genre. He worked hard and did a lot of work for myself and my colleagues dealing with Allied Breweries regional re-branding. His work was always outstanding. Happy memories!” October 17, 2010
Top qualities: Great Results, Personable, Creative
The Salutation, Kings Street Hammersmith, London
The Salutation was a gild and fix contract which was one of the most challenging as I was given 3 days to complete prep and gild and had to use a 12 kilo Kango hammer drill to get through this wonderful but rock hard antique ceramic fascia… turned out really well but had me biting my nails to the very last! It’s what is meant by going the extra mile!
Firkin Brewery, London
The Pheonix and Firkin – the original sign we made in 1983 was up for restoration by 2001, but it was just too gone around the edges and this one was intended only as temporary but it looked kinda cool and we all agreed it should stay.
The only time I fell off a ladder at the Pheonix… courtesy of a large plumber rather over sampling the fresh Dog Bolter at 10 in the morning!
Nina wanted a nice Roman so she got it with my selection of Berling… still looking good. Walked into the upper studio where Nina was having her photo taken by Lord Snowdon who abruptly turned around to me and said in his wonderful voice… “Haven’t we met before somewhere dear chap?”
Standing atop my ladder rolling up and woodbine and Ringo Star sauntered past… “You tayke it eaoisy up therr yer hear me!”
Just down the street from Nina is Dragons of Walton Street the esteemed nursery painted furniture shop and the title line choice here was Windsor bold.
Chelsea Green and the Pie Man … fascia and glass writing.
Stacks of pictorial signs for Benskins, Watneys and Taylor walker breweries.
The Arterie E. Dulwich and Sign of the Times, Chelsea.
Ted Baker 2011
November 2011, the new flagship store about to open 11 11 11 – Bluewater Kent.
Lots of wonderful signs here in this extraordinary retail design project.
Nick Garrett Fine Signwriter
A client said to me yesterday
… but it is very expensive… we can’t afford it.
The only expensive sign is a cheap one – because it fails you,
… misrepresents you and portrays you as second rate. It attracts the wrong customer base which raises the likelihood of contractual problems and at worst a bad client will one day dishonour you.
It will take you on a rocky path when going that bit extra would have brought you to the road of success… and much more.
There is nothing like calculating correctly, a measure of going forward risk and experiencing immediate success entirely on the back of your own sound business judgement. A good sign EARNS for you, it costs you nothing.
NGS will portray your own success and for years to come, your sign will become your greatest sales asset and marketing partnership.
Great signs therefore cost???
(ask me for terms and payment options – I can spread a payment over 3 months)
Sylvanian Families, Traditional signwriting the shop fascia – NGS
The fascia sign renewal for Sylvanian Families in Arsenal is all going fair dinkum as they say … rub down 2 coats of Dulux undercoat.. 2 coats of Dulux satin top and the lettering followed rounding off a good day out in Arsenal…
Above: start of day 2
Day 2: finish lettering – double coat and pin stripe
Day 3: add high and low light lining
Above: NGS – Finished with highlight and shade signwriting – framed up with double pin stripes.
Real signwriting is an unbeatable option – it says QUALITY
– The price of vinyl today is more expensive because it doesn’t last
– Signwriting is more dynamic and full of character
– When signwriting ages it still looks stunning (if not better!)
Simple we thinks…
More recent work
Gilding our way around London
NGS – a completely modern traditional sign-writing service
31 years Traditional Writing experience (Est 1981)
Sharp sweet quality
Classic & Copperplate Typeface Specialist
Modern Wharf Retro treatments
Great t0-budget value
Large scale Project Design expertise
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Traditional Signwriter London
For Murals, Fascias, Vans, Gilding,
Custom Typeface design, Brand design, logo creation
Call us on 07951509238