Category: Nick Garrett Traditional Sign writer (page 15 of 56)

Retro Heartlands London – Signsmiths in design



This pages illustrates the restoration work and the retro distressed pieces NGS produce.

These can apply beautifully to a range of applications inc:

  • Retail design
  • Interiors
  • Product design
  • Graphics and brand

 Lots road signage



The first distressed painted furniture in UK came out of a garage in Brixton… my garage… and launched it 1986. Painted Country – by Tricia Guild CEO of Designers Guild was the publication I filled to the brim with Bright Distresses… and filled their flagship Kings Road store to the brim for 15 years too!

But the layered crackled and peeled distress I discovered came about by fluke and failure. Thanks to being given the wrong methodology by the guys at Keep’s and Bollom’s I had the perfect foil for creative innovation!

Couple that with a moment of madness when Designer’s Guild man Colin Bisset pulled out that very reject batch of samples declaring ”I love it!!” and the die was cast. A decade and a half of distressing collaboration followed with DG and CEO Tricia Guild taught me how to do the magic with colour.

From there my expectation has always been… if it’s successful it sells – I have to make it succeed and apply that simple principle to your project like it’s mine.

But I have had to constantly battle inner doubt.  Don’t we all? In truth no… but for me it has been a huge mountain to climb and stay atop.

My dad was always critical of me for being a sloppy painter (that’s where the doubt crept in) … so there I was in Designers Guild mode, smashing up the paint surface with stripper, crackling it till it hung off, then nibbled at the peels until the floor was strewn with shards of multi colour paint debris… and the piece looked killer stunning. Clients: Robert Plant, George Michael, the late great Steve Clarke…

Imagine driving off from Kings Road with the world’s top designer Tricia Guild handing me a battered Mexican kitchen chair saying ”try to copy that…” and while knowing I could, feeling shamed by not living up to my father’s outdated expectations.

The reason I am writing all this is because if you are a creative and have to quell this type of negative feeding then the best strategy is to take a deep breath and  just get on with it … you could go to counselling but frankly why not cut out the middle man and trust your heart, hand, eye and brush?

Now I can cut a line just how we like it at NGS or chop up some historic distress just how some hate it… but those with uber cool love the thing – enjoy my Retro page.

Kudos to freedom by creativity.


Ted Baker Tea shop sign Nick Garrett

Restoration Sign Works Nick Garrett

prince 176 750 The Prince Of Wales | Historic Venue In The Heart Of Brixton

2013-09-30 13.42.37

Original Eric Gill signwriting? Under restoration by Nick Garrett NGS London

Avalon ornate


Be at one logo finished

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NGS white paint on nose

Old post office retro sign NGS

0341.jpg London Chalk art  artis chlakie menu boards chalk boards chalkboards

London signs NGS hand painted


 Retro distressed and Vintage Signwriting

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We are about to complete a number of stunning murals across London combining the mix of typoG talents from graffiti to gilding.



Nick Brand Design and trad lettering honch at NGS.

Crazy pig gilded on glass

Alice is a lettering pro based in London, specialising in calligraphy, custom lettering and typography. She has a background in graphic design for advertising, working on branding projects, magazines and print ads. Her fascination for letterforms dates back to her teenage years, getting her hands dirty with spray paint in the alluring graffiti scene. Her inspiration comes from calligraphy, old books, signs and urban art. Her ultimate goal is perfection.


Toby artist, street art and lettering newbie at NGS

setting up the workshop course

Statement Intent Heart

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