Building number signwriting is generally the street address & number of the building painted onto its walls, entrance doors or windows.

The client requested the street address numerals on both entrances to their property which used to all one address but has now become two seperate adresses. The signwriting was requested to match on both properties but one be in white & the other in black, as white shows up better on windows & black is traditional & the best colour for white masonry.

The property had a now converted roller shutter warehouse entrance. The new look is now a fully glass fronted office space entrance. The other entrance was the main entrance that had always been there but is now an entrance for residential apartments above the glass fronted office space.

The whole building was historically the post office sorting office for Islington from the early Victorian era. The building is now partly seperated into 3 invividual addresses but are still all connected in terms of structure.

The building number signwriting was started with having matching sized drawings of the numbers which were used as templates for the signs. The layout drawn for no.160, which was now the glass entrance was positioned on the outside of the glass to line by eye height to the other entrance which would be no.161.

The layout for the masonry surface (no.161) was also positioned to its ideal position, which was aligned horizontally with the glass numbers, but centred vertically.

The building number signwriting is started on the glass by painting on the inside of the pane. this is done so its more durable. Its then protected from the elements & allows for the outside window to be cleaned of grime throuoghly if required. The numbers are painted by using a correctly sized signwriter brush for the size of numbers & are achieved with several built up neat strokes.

 Once the signwriting is completed of all the numbers, the layout guide is removed from the outside of the window & the paint is allowed to dry.

 With the paint drying on the glass the ladder was moved to the other entrance so the building number signwriting could be done on that but this time in black. The process is slightly different for an outward facing surface, as the drawing is traced onto the surface using charcoal or carbon & then removed to be painted.

The surface of the masonry was stippled so it meant producing smooth strokes a little more difficult & just means having to slow the sroke down & not have the paint as flowing if for a smooth surface, as thats what leads to bleeds or runs.

 With a stippled surface its important that the building number signwriting looks sharp front on. From the side or angled close up it may look lumpy bumpy, but thats the surface not the signwriting if produced well. No-one is going to look at signwriting that closely but if it looks sharp & crisp upclose then you know it does from a distance. Bad signwriting notices both close up & from a distance if not produced well.

 With the builing number signwriting completed on both surfaces, the final part of the job is to make the glass signwriting protected from window cleaning & make it only removable by scraping off. This is achieved by coating the signwriting with a brushed on layer or clear varnish. Once the varnish dries it hardens & traps the paint to the window & can’t be affected by water or cleaning agents.

The completed building number signwriting for both entrances. The 160 doesn’t appear white as the window is tinted. That does assist in preventing the white looking too ‘zingy’ which a vinyl sticker on the outside of the window would do.

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