Attention to detail, the old-fashioned way.
I take inspiration from across the spectrum of traditional and contemporary design. Our colour choices, lettering styles and effects are carefully chosen for each individual project. I consider styles and trends correct to the (intended) era, and aim to be in keeping with established themes in each individual shop, restaurant, hotel, bar etc.
In some cases I work exclusively with a pencil. Starting with a pencil sketch, which I'll then refine and enlarge into a full-scale working drawing, and then signwrite by hand. For example, lettering and graphics on a freshly-restored vintage vehicle, copied from a photograph of how it was in the past. In other cases I'll work exclusively on the computer, taking vector artwork to create a visual and then making a computer-produced working drawing to signwrite from. For example, rendering simple branding on a wall.
In most cases I'll design and prepare for a job using a 'technology sandwich'. Starting with a simple pencil sketch to give the layout a human feel, I'll then redraw and create a visual of the proposed design on the computer (in full colour) for the customer to approve. The working drawings are then produced; typically altered and refined by hand before signwriting. I do this to maintain the handmade charm and authenticity, preventing the sign becoming too 'mechanical' looking.
Have a look at the 'How to Order a Sign' page below, and give me a call or email with as much of the required info as possible. We can then establish a budget to work to; as all my signs are bespoke made, I can design and choose material to suit almost any feasible budget. If you are unsure of what budget you'll need, I can talk you through various ways of approaching your job, the pros and cons and ballpark costs involved. More often than not I'll then need to make a visit to the site to meet you, take measurements and discuss further. At that point, if you're keen to proceed, I then take a small design deposit to create visuals, a formal quote and establish a turnaround time for the proposed work. I then require a payment of 50% of the total cost (less the design deposit paid) to initiate production, with the remaining balance due upon completion when an invoice is submitted.
All sign boards are now fabricated using Medite Tricoya Extreme, a groundbreaking MDF-like sheet material, which is extremely dimensionally stable and weather-resistant (guaranteed for 50 years in external use by the manufacturer), yet maintains that lovely traditional 'wooden sign' look. I use anywhere from 6mm to 18mm thick panels, and can layer them to give a project dimension. 3mm Aluminium Composite Panels may sometimes be used as a more cost effective alternative, or where signs need to curve round to fit the building.
In most cases the sign panels are flattened and primed, then built up with multiple coats of Marine Quality Undercoat, and brush-finished in Marine Gloss or Satin. I can match to a full range of RAL and BS colours to fit with an existing brand, or suggest traditional colour schemes to fit the task at hand. This way of working gives the signs real traditional charm, and the colours an expected lifespan of 7-15 years before considerable fading, depending on the colours used. As the Tricoya is so durable, in most cases down the line the signs should only need repainted not replaced.
Where appropriate panels can be sprayed in 2k Automotive Paint, signwritten then finished in 2k Automotive Clear. This prolongs the vibrancy of the colours considerably, and allows the signs to be brought back to a shine with a machine-polisher, as you would a car, when the colours begin to fade. It's also tougher (harder to scratch) and resistant to certain chemicals, allowing graffiti to be removed without harming the signwriting. I work with a well-respected local classic car restorers to finish the panels in Automotive paint, as I am not set up to spray in the current workshop, so turnaround time will be longer and costs slightly higher in such cases.
Signwriting and Artwork
Lettering, graphics and artwork are rendered the traditional way using a brush, paint and mahl-stick. I can paint most surfaces including but not limited to; signboards, wood, metal, glass, vehicles, boats, interior and exterior walls.
Signwriting and artwork both internal and external is produced in quality Signwriting Enamel. Often elements are gilded in gold leaf, or any other available metal leaf. Gold leaf, especially when seen in sunlight, looks beautiful and conveys an image of prestige to potential customers. An airbrush may be used to embellish and add special effects and faux dimension. I use a variety of traditional and artistic techniques such as glazing, staining and ragging to create a distressed look where intended.
I use 23.5ct Gold Leaf (unless otherwise instructed) on all Gilding jobs. I can apply gold or any other available metal leaf to various surfaces, both internal and external, using a traditional oil size. I can also create beautiful gold leaf window signs by painting the design in reverse on the back of the glass, and applying the gold with a mirror finish or matte finish.
Ross is respected worldwide in the art of pinstriping, having pinstriped multiple magazine featured and award-winning motorcycles, custom cars and trucks. I can offer custom pinstriping designs bespoke to your vehicle. I can also offer traditional straight-line pinstriping, known as coach-lining, painted by hand to complete the restoration of a vintage vehicle or motorcycle.