Glass signage using contemporary traditional techniques for a repeat client, Leviticus Tattoo in Loughton. They requested their name on the entrance door glass. The theme of colours was to be kept, but freedom to change the style and design was given trusted that I could produce a nice appeal with a vintage influence.

The clients had been using a temporary generic vinyl sticker in one colour & in a letter style very much over produced in the Tattoo market. So the first stage was to remove the vinyl & clean the window ready for fresh glass signage.

The glass signage letetring was produced before being on site using a paint mask. This is specialist vinyl, which is designed to have the lettering cut & then the centres removed. The centres are then painted in by hand, once on the window in the measured placement. Once the paint has been applied the paint mask is removed.

 The reason for using this process is two fold. Firstly it keeps the lettering neat, which if produced by hand is achieveable but the process atkes a lot longer, which is the 2nd reason. The time consumption is viatl in terms of costing as they say time is money. This method still gives traditional paint as glass signage but takes less time to do, which in turn makes it more cost efficent to have painted signs for the client.

The areas that require snagging are circled on the other side of the glass so they can be corrected before the paint dries. Once all dry the size & gold leaf can be applied.

The gold is applied by the centres of the lettring being brush covered in ‘size’ which is left to go just slightly tacky & then the sheets of pure gold are laid over where the Size has been applied. While this was left to dry an away shadow was hand painted to make more of a feature of the script lettering.

All the shadow is produced with one stroke signwork. This is a skilled method. Keeping the gap between the main writing & the shadow but also keeping the thickness of the shadow consistant.

The gold drying to the glass seen on the outside. Once the gold & size has dried & hardened, the excess which applied to areas not painted with the size are ‘burnished’ (specialist brush wiped) & then cleaned off, leaving the gold in just the lettering.

An dropped away shadow was marked out & again hand painted in a one stroke method. This gave depth as well as added colour & design to the glass signage.

┬áThe excess gold is cleaned off & the final stage is to cover all the glass signage with a clear varnish. This is produced by hand with a brush & a specialised technique. It is done so that the window can be cleaned & it won’t affect the signwriting, so has better longevity. Where as vinyl will probably peel away over time, this won’t & is there until scraped off with a blade.

The method of using oil gilding & size allows the gold to look the same either side of the window, which if produced with water gilding to create a reflective finish with the gold, that can’t be the case, as all the gol;d has to be trapped in place by paint once of the window, where as the oil gilding gold has already stuck to the window, so only needs preserving by the varnish. This is often prefered for this reason, as its a better finish having the glass signage look the same either side of the pane.

The gold really gleams in the sunlight, so has the desired effect in attracting custom into the tattoo studio as well as looking far smarter & professional than the cheap vinyl sign provided before the new glass signage, showing that despite not being the most cost effecient, its not always about cost & it can be far more about a sleek smart professional look to appeal to clients who wish to chose your company over everyone else.

Traditional & Contemporary Hand Painted Sign Writing in London

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