Le Labo London – NGS signwriting



 Distress Urban Type NGS Signwriting London






The White Hart distressed lettering Tobi NGS

The White Hart New Cross, London.

White Hart Elevateion interior ghost sign NGS's Tobias prop copia


The Waffle Float

Waffle float NGS signwriters

NGS Ghost Signs of Distinction


wearing the paint away to reveal the unexpected

1604899_10208191171555013_5793163839200603375_n  W5-NGS Ghost signs




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The Globe, Lisson Grove

01a533f08beacb81611f61185e8ec2c0504455b6a1 Aperture A

A medley of effects and textures… narrative, tactile, historic

PIzza ghost sign NGS high-five-signs-ngs G-for-NGS-Ghost-signs


To make something beat up look beautiful is art


Pizza Nativa around London


On the slab being painted and up in the city…

Pizza Nativa around London NGS London signwriters 2

#ngssignsmithscourses #ngssignwriting #love

A photo posted by Nick Garrett (@ngs_sign_crew_london) on

Deverell Smith numeral set Nick Garrett signwriter London Uk Europe.

Big, Bold, Grunge.


Deverell Smith numerals Nick Garrett signwriter London Uk Europe. Fitzbillies interior panel NGSigns London

Onestroked like the old masters… the fluidity of spontaneous painting like this comes from years of professional practice.

NGS since 1975

Nick's Iphone 5 Oct 15-Feb 16 548


MEat n SHake watforrd murals 3 NGS01a533f08beacb81611f61185e8ec2c0504455b6a1

blast from the urban pastures


 Le Labo Paris

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Progress shot of Le Labo Paris ghost sign in heavily distressed gold leaf.

Grand passion for the theatre of historic aesthetic

History in the making – just something I love getting involved in having worked in restoration and special paint effects industry in the nineties the skills transfer beautifully well into the making of strikingly real Ghost signs.  These artworks allow the application of paint effects knowledge and lettering to meld together.  With a growing interest in historic signage I study up close the hand of the old master writers of London and replicate their letters perfectly, using museum quality practices to trick the eye and senses.

The impromptu deterioration and the utter beauty of erosive time is only truly recreated by understanding  how nature affects certain colours, textures of paint and surfaces.

A sign may start off as a utility hoarding, but ends up through it all, an incredible piece of art… we’ll settle for the art right from the beginning of the journey.

Nick Garrett

Contact NGS today

Contact Nick today regarding your sign project


charlottes W5 NGS signs London

Mood Board

Aperture A

HISTORY… IN THE MAKING… we like to call it




Youthscape NGS urban distress signs

Always Hand Painted

G for NGS Ghost signs

Ghost signs Nick Garrett London

Raw, Brave, Creativity

Half Block semi

Truck Mural NGS Signs London 001

Where it all Begins n Ends in Urban Distress



Ghost signs by NGS London

Our Ghost signs are pretty popular across town.


Inspiration: below a subtle wash out

Inspiration from above and beyond - the historic signs around us.

Inspiration from above and beyond – the historic signs around us.

Always alive… hand painted lettering and where there’s history there’s always a lot of love.


But it’s not necessarily attained through the techniques alone but through the senses, how one feels about the era and piece… nay, oneself even!  A brushstroke is a felt moment, evidenced.  It arrives from the emotions… dreams, thoughts and agendas.  When those are pure and only about the letter, then something special happens. It is essential and good, to be deep.

It’s not even a case of ”You cannot be taught it”.

It’s simply a case of being sensitive.

The best letterers are sensitive creatures. I know I come across as confident and bold on these pages but hidden inside is this whole world of sensitive observation and love of people, nature and creativity.

So it is perhaps through the revelation of time that even the plainest London block, or the plainest London bloke, takes on this sensitivity… the youngest shoot rises and the ageing rice bows humbly.

Never afraid of peeling back the layers.

Finding the beauty inside.


Sawyer and Grey10404181_10206946424277109_8608283232066587447_nBuon Appetito NGS

NGS Hipster chunky blocks n scripts

We make ghost signs – retro distressed to look just like the real thing.

When we set out to create that particular aged urban feel it’s always out intention to do 2 things:  Trick the eye and launch the modern.

The 2 seem to work well across the paradox of creating a surface that looks to all the ey to be something hanging there from the past and yet, own a vibrancy that can only be today… now and your brand future.

And that nods at a whole new gameplan for the really successful delivery of brand ID in the wake of cold impersonal corp ID of the last 30 years.

Gone are the constraints and quasi geek scientific analysis of what the crowd wants… the crowd leads by instinct and we facilitate that by paint because design delivers big B2C solutions.

So welcome to the nexi of past and future – exciting times stay tuned for a simply sensational September program.


Free Range Covent Garden wanted a slightly more designer chic feel… not to heavy on the chili… still looks great and works wonders. Below: London is full of inspiration!


Type Hunting – Always looking for inspiration

Walton Street Oxford

Lumleys Tea

Covent Garden London

Covent Gdn Ghost sign NGS

 Retro sign

Wimbledon done

Sign Restoration NGS London

Long time buddy Australian artist Sam James helping out varnishing a restored fascia Higbury.

Mirrored lettering with urban scrape detail Nick Garrett Signs      Wovlerine close up Vintage Spanish font signwriting in London by Nick Garrett
Freshly painted…
Restored distressed numeral 8 No 18 Phipp St


Above:  This emblemic panel above was created and finished by NGS with an aged faded gilded effect. Below:  Distressed worn panel for McDonald’s ad shoot.

 Legendary distressed originals - signwriters NGS of London  



Antique Sign Restoration and stabilisation of paintwork – NGS London We left the nails in as per client request!

Original Eric Gill signwriting? Under restoration by Nick Garrett NGS London ABOVE:  The preservation of the original Johnston hand was essential – we kept the sign just as it needed to be: stable, preserved and original.
Now available as NGS Johnston Highbury Demi.

Doin’ the Housework

Biba House done

Above:  Biba House restoration in Notting Hill, drafted and traced as per the original hand.  Additional characters were invented in order to coordinate yet not compete with the title name – subtle considerations that retained feature focus where we wanted it.
NGS white paint on nose - Painting in the freezing wind – creating an aged effect. EWELME fini Restoration of artwork, murals and signage undertaken by Nick Garrett