Digital signage company contracted Traditional Signs of London for a large bar refit in Shepherds Bush, where they needed a large volume of hand produced signs as well as the digital & illuminted signs they produce.
A major project which took 10 days to complete. It was part of a refurbishment of a bar, which is part of a chain & is run by St Christophers Inns, which are hostels.
They provide cost effective rooms for travellers & also have Belushis bars attched, which the guests have access too when staying as well as general custom through the door.
The theme for the bar was a combination of music & sport as it hosts both live music & lively weekend nites, as well as live sporting events on multiple flatscreens.
The first part of the project was to paint their information branding, which was to be written on a freshly fitted reproduction brick wall.
The wording had to fit across the whole wall area above the windows.
A special sign writer brush called a fitch could have been used, but The finish had to be bold & every lump & bump covered, so I used a old sign writing brush made by Mack, which has a corse hair & a wide chisel shape.
As can be seen in this image, the reproduction brickwork is actually a rougher surface & more recessed than standard bricks would be.
It made for a more time consuming job to make sure every nook & cranny on the surface was covered, but no real issue in keeping the lettering straight & neat.
A pounce pattern was used prior to painting each word. This is essential when painting onto a really uneven surface.
Something a digital signage company don’t cater for hence contracting Traditional Signs of London.
The whole area took a full working day to complete, but the clients were very happy with the result. It included adding a ‘halo’ of colour around the digital signage company produced 3D illumated fabricated brand name sign.
It was originally requested that the design went over the window too but having painted that for them, it was clear it wouldn’t have the same look or look anywhere near the desired computerised image.
This is often the case when designers don’t use the materials the signs would be produced from, so causes some conflict in production.
They also decided that the pale dusting I had given it for a subtle ‘glow’ to a halo wasn’t obvious enough & to paint it more opaque, which I did for them & they were happier, altho I felt the first look was better. Although the paler colour of blue mixed the 2nd time was a brighter, better shade.
The final exterior paintwork required was for a ‘rustic’ wood burnt/branded syle directional bar sign.
This was painted at the workshop & delivered for their builders to fit into place.
The wood was upcycled scaffold planks cut down & stained.
I placed them into how they were to fitted & drew out the dsign onto the planks, making sure it was as central as possible, despite the slightly uneven lengths of the planks
A matt finish with enamel paint was produced for durability.
It was painted wide chisel sign writer brush, with the paint thinned down so it would cover the wood better & bleed into the grooves & grain of the wood.
The directional bar sign in place, with the wood planks fitted into a standing frame.
The first of the internal work was behind the bar sign writing onto the polished tiled section which houses the food/kitchen service lift.
The lighting & refective surface proved to be quite a challenge to see the layout which was charcoal pounced onto the surface from a drawn layout.
Originally the request from the designers was for the image to be painted to wrap round the 3 sides of the lift.
However futher discussions & suggestions from the sign writer to the designer changed it to just on the front facing side.
Due to the surface being white & the effect required originally was for aged lettering on a solid blue circle.
It was then suggested it better to age the whole image including the writing, which again was agreed to
The design was hand painted onto the tiles & allowed to dry. The sign writing added with only the edges looking worn & aged.
Again the designer had produced a thin ‘keyline’ outline on the original image in white, but I suggested that onc ethe patina was added it would get lost, so the outline should match the colour of the halo around the Belushis logo. This worked really well & helped the sign stand out.
As can be seen, the neon lighting alters the colour of the image on the tiles.
The problem being, that the neon/led’s actually change colour, so in some lighting its better than others.
With no bright spotlights lighting the area for a ‘gig venue’ appeal it does make for a darker appearance, which created the problem, but was overcome.
The next addition the clients requested was hand painting of ‘sports pitches/courts’ on 3 of their tables. something again a digital signage company can’t achieve unless with vinyl or wrapping the table.
Originally it was going to be untreated rustic tables, but it was changed for stained ones.
It would’ve been an easier task if the tables had also had of had a matt varnish applied to them beforehand, as it prevents any bleeding of paint into the graining of the wood.
Unvarnished wood always has paint seep or bleed into the grain.
A long haired quill sign writing brush was used for the long line work.
The shape of the tables made for a difficult layouts, as the tables were a lot narrower & longer than the pitch/courts would be.
So the designs look a little ‘stretched’ but don’t notice once used as tables.
Strangely one of the sports chosen was netball, which didn’t go down well with the Belushi’s staff.
The sports they more commonly show on the flat screens are Rugby, American Football & Tennis all of which use rectanglar courts/pitches.
The completed & installed football pitch table, with the seating wither side & the flat screen to watch the sports on.
The 4th table was for their seperately designated sponsored ‘red stripe’ ‘gig area’ seating
This had a similar sized table but with the corners angled & cut. It also had staining but no varnish.
The design to be hand painted onto this table was a time consuming one, but a good looking one once completed.
They required a line drawing of an electric guitar with the red stripe logo next to it & the word ‘licks’ to be added over the top in a ‘aged’ or ‘patina’ style.
The table in place, with the matching graphics on the rear wall which was all produced by the digital signage company in a big wrap like wallpaper.
The final part of the interior & exterior signwriting project took 4 full days.
Firstly the whole area of the ‘nook’ seating area section of the bar had to have the walls painted blue in a shade requested by the clients, to match the branding.
The seating area had a patina or aged tile/brick look to begin with, so to crate a patina look once the blue paint was added, the paint was made into more of a wash.
This way it would stain the walls rather than opaquely cover it.
Unfortunately the lighting & speakers were unattchable so had to be painted round rather than taken off & refitted.
The Seating was unbolted from the floor so access could be gained for the whole wall areas to be painted.
Once the entire 2 walls had been painted, the layout was pounced onto them.
These were large layouts consisting of approx 12 rolls of paper each 750mm wide & 7ft long.
All the paper layouts had to be laid onto the walls in order & then all the design pounced onto the walls.
Each section was pounced & then painted incase any got smudged off the walls & would have to be re-done.
A hole was cut for the paper layout to fit over the lighting which couldn’t be removed.
The sign writing was produced despite the up & down lighters being the only lighting in the seated area.
This made for not only bright light in some areas to work on, but dim in others & also made for a sweaty signwriter too, when the heat radiated from the lights when working in close proximity to them.
All the lettering was produced using a flat white enamel paint for durability.
All the lettering was produced based around the designers brief & imagery, with only a few aspects altered for artistic licence.
Producing all the white lettering on the 2 walls took two full days.
The final day was for adding the drop shadows & other details in a darker blue around the lettering.
Then aging the entire two walls, which was done with sanding blocks & some staining.
The shadows helping to make the white sign writing far more visable. Not all of the wording had a shadow, which I felt it needed but the designers were happy with what they orginally designed.
The larger nook seating area wall completed. The wording being all the other locations of the Belushi Bars.
The smaller wall, just as the inetrior signwriting was completed & the seating being put back in place.
In the end it became a race against time before the England football game started, so the bar was becoming more & more busy by the minute!
I just about finished as the game kicked off!
Digital Signage company contracting a traditional Sign writer –
Traditional Signs of London