How quickly time goes by. This tends to be the time of year for annual updates at schools and colleges. Updating all of the boards at Wellington College takes a month of so, as there are lots of traditionally signwritten names to add in all of the Dorm Houses as well as the main Quad, specific teaching, sporting and other achievement areas all of which are required to be completed by Speech Day which is at the end of May. The building of a new Real Tennis Court will also require lists of donors and benefactors. During the last month I have been working on site at Cranleigh School
Autumn tends to be the time for updating Golf Club Honours Boards, so usual annual visits to the Army Golf Club at Aldershot, East Berks, Foxhills, Bird Hills etc.
Our friends at Taurus Wines are based at Whipley Manor Farm, between Bramley and Cranleigh. They manage spaces at Bramley Nisa store and Secretts Farm Shop, we have recently supplied signs to both outlets and we have revamped the signs at Whipley Manor Farm. They also have a new delivery van which we have now liveried with their new design.
Recently fitted hardwood house sign with traditional finish and black script lettering.
Earlier in the year we worked on more horseboxes at JMB, The blue Virtue was produced just before the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
More recently we have worked on a couple of larger silver horseboxes.
Sponsorship is obvious to following vehicles
It has been a while since the last post. We have been very busy with schools and colleges preparing work for the start of the new terms.
Looking foxy, the top of the weather vane should glint in the sun now.
I have recently traditionally lettered the rather rough cast and curved bay section of Kiehl’s in Guildford
In between these jobs we were asked to recreate some graphics for a unique BMW for 4 Star Classics
There is an interesting video on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aj4WItCKxrM
Charting the creation of this car for the 1982 Motor Show.
As well as recreating “The Observer” masthead from the 1980′s and the script “Coupe” sides and rear
we had to recreate the “sunburst” etched effect which had been added to the original glass sliding roof on the currently fixed plastic sunroof.
The car is currently featured on the sales pages at www.4starclassics.com where we added text to the vintage petrol pumps when 4 Star set up their showroom.
Another new arrival in Guildford are our friends at Burrito Loco who expect be open from 18th October
We have provided stand-off letters and window graphics, find out more about Burrito Loco at
Up to London for an interesting piece of history this week. Re-lettering an incised plaque at the LSE remembering the WSPU Suffragettes.
I found an interesting picture recorded by a fellow lettering artist. It would be nice to think that Sylvia Pankhurst was swinging her brush in the same location all those years ago.
I also found a picture of a brooch, House of Lords Portcullis, WSPU ribbon colours
This leads to even more fascinating pictures of artifacts, all of which have links to Suffrage and with remarkable period lettering.
Wonderful fonts engraved and painted.
Thankful for a bit of Spring sunshine to enable the painting of letters onto a traditional looking shopfront.
You can see where I was working if you click on the photo.
Not sure if I was there at 9.30?
Or if it was seven minutes past three.
Fortunately it wasn’t decked out with a display like this for my visit!
I’m sure they would love you to visit their site http://www.drakealgar.com
Nothing is as good as gold so it works well on traditional looking signs. St. Catherine’s School have just had a refurb.
Hardwood edge, gold leaf text with black shade, shaped top
The directional finger signs can be used by car drivers and pedestrians.
Decorative finials and base embellishers add to the traditional feel and are in harmony with existing street furniture.
I think people like to see vehicle graphics on cars, so here are some pictures of the Leapfrog Tutoring Mini from last year.
Another year over, a new one just begun. How quickly the world turns.
We are so privileged to be able to have our lettering in such venerated establishments. Towards the end of the year we supplied an Honours Board which now sits proudly in Pall Mall.
This year has seen a lot of work to traditional oak panelling. Before the start of the cricket season, Mill Hill School had considerable restoration work done to their pavilion. Pity the builders working in the snow at the top of the hill, sliding up and down with all of the requisites. Not many pictures at present, but here is the crest which I freshened up, keeping the patina from the past.
We had large areas of new panel work made up and this was fitted at either end onto the walls. Later we installed some similar but substantially smaller panels into one of the Dorm Houses at Wellington College.
In both instances, it was important to ensure that the new panelling lined up as closely as possible with the original panels.
The earlier signwriters from Mill Hill had rather a quirky style which we emulated. When our colleagues from Bower Wood Production Services were asked to provide stage scenery for a play that included a pre-war school set, we employed some of the same idiosyncracies to boards which the scenery painters had given specially aged effects.
Another large Honours board was made in walnut to our specification by Bennett Bothers of Crowthorne. By contrast this was lettered in the “Trajan” font, which- although timeless- seems to be considered more contemporary by designers at it is easily accessible in computer design packages with a choice of weights and typographic characters that can be used globally.
We also used “Trajan” for new signs at Gordon’s School, this time in gold leaf on a forest green background with black shadow. We fitted hanging signs above the Dormitory House entrances, double sided to be viewed along the Parade Ground and these incorporated the crest as seen on the Reception wall.
The other globally popular font we often mention “Gotham” was employed for a company called “Tortoise and Hare”, established at Smithbrook Kilns, but moving into a shop in Bramley High Street. The weather was so appalling just before the shop opened that we had to manhandle the canvas blind into the shop so that the letters could be painted on overnight. See http://wwww.tortoiseandthehare.co.uk
Throughout the year we have been proud to help with further redevelopments at Reading Blue Coat School and many other schools, prep schools and colleges. Work for the Army at Deepcut for the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) and at Arborfield for the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) some of which was to cherished boards charting the history of the Regiment. Wellington College work also included their Pavilion at Bisley at the National Rifle Centre. The eclectic buildings at Bisley have an air of The Raj about them and the strangeness was perhaps enhanced when I happened to be there coinciding with a meeting of American vehicle enthusiasts who like to live the dream apparently “Getting their kicks pre ’66″ see Hotrod Hayride on Google or YouTube.
Just about to open as this is posted is an exhibition at Watts Gallery called “The Big Issues” for which we have created the exhibit labels see http://wattsgallery.org.uk/learning/big-issues
London Clancy allow us to work on sites in the Basingstoke area. One of their tenants had this sign fitted at Ramsdell at the Old Brick Kilns.
Tray signs painted to silver were also added to the existing entrance feature at this site in Hook.
Another slightly unusual vehicle to livery, but eye-catching despite its size is this Smart Car used by Zeytin Restaurant in Knaphill.
Vehicles are economical ways of using your advertising budget.
This catches attention from every angle.
The smart car is easy to park and inexpensive on tax but is not at all racy. Motor racing is certainly the theme for the William Bray pub in Shere owned by former Formula One driver and wearer of a famous white helmet, Julian Bailey. The facilities have been used prior to the British Grand Prix for TV shoots and now a special Private Dining Room has been created echoing the theme of Monaco. Pointing up the stairs is an homage to the old Monaco Street signs.
This is an original.
One Wall had a circuit layout painted on.
The wall blackboard area had information about the circuit and motor races.
Other areas reflected text in the main bar and restaurant.
The Monaco font was based on period posters which adorn the walls.
These were created by Georges Hamel, who signed himself Geo Ham.
Amazing simple timeless images from the 1920s and 30s.
This was also used on the door in gold leaf.
As I am interested in period commercial vehicles, I was pleased to find this photograph of a Delahaye which was designed by Geo Ham.
He obviously influenced the style of this 1937 Delahaye roadster as well.
I’m sure his motorcyclist illustrations also influenced the animators of the pop video for “Take on me” by A-ha, which is in turn brilliantly spoofed on “Family Guy” see YouTube (Family Guy: Chris as a-ha “Take on Me”). You mighty also like to check out Commuter (1981) by Michael Patterson.
Another recent gilding job was a simple classic Roman numeral for Grosvenor Square. This had a black outline.
This journey to London added a hanging sign to the Buckinghams Mayfair laundry and some further West Cornwall Pasty Co. outlet at Euston.
We recently visited Bluewater to paint some lettering onto a glazed tile surface for Harry Ramsden’s
We have also been very busy recently for our friends at Wellington College, Bearwood College, Reading Blue Coat School, St. Joseph’s College and Eton End School.
More seasonal was work at Riverways Farm on the Old Bath Road at Twyford who provide eggs and laying hens, but who also have Reindeer “for hire”.
Riverways have a kiosk opening up soon, call in when passing or check out http://www.riverwaysfarm.co.uk
Recent work in the home village of Bramley includes a revamp at Memories the Antiques, Collectibles and curtain outlet which I have signwritten several times over the years. http://memoriesantiques.co.uk
Also work on the former Wine Bar for Patrie Thai Restaurant.
Find out more about Patria the patron and The William Bray at
You will also see higher quality images by John Powell AVS – Albury Visual Services, with links to The Silent Pool and a mystery of Agatha Christie’s disappearance.
The Bakery Shops are now able to Pedal their Wares with this Pashley delivery bike
This is not the first delivery bike we have worked on, if you go back through the blogs to April “Signwriting Horseboxes” you will see a picture of Don Bennett by his classic milk lorry and his bike for “Ambarrow Farm Dairy”
This week we visited Mayfair and Duke Street to give an established dry cleaning company Buckingham’s a revamp. Using gold and black vinyls to good effect on the windows recreating a traditional feel.
This was a corner unit, so the lettering was on two aspects with the opening times and a guardsman to the door.
The interior had traditional gold leaf gilding to the headings on the cabinets.
We have just supplied a sign to Academy Sport in Reading which is made from 8 individual 8ft x 4ft sheets, 4.8m x 4.8m square.
Earlier work on this site had been interior panels about the services offered, mainly with relevant images digitally printed and with pockets for leaflets and clip frames as poster holders.
We also added text to the Reception area, vinyl graphics, cut and printed applied to the painted wall
Check them out at www.academysport.co.uk