Tattoo shop signs are becoming more & more part of the trade for traditional sign writers as the tattooists appreciate the craft in the same way as theirs is appreciated.

These tattoo shop clients became almost as addicted to having hand produced signage as their clients are to having body art!

They supplied an A-board they wished to be upcyled, but realised afterwards that this is a bit of a false economy.

More work was needed to get the supplied board to a high quality standard, than if one was made using fresh materials.

These Sandwich boards or A-boards are generally produced with flimsy materials & used to advertise temporary items, so have chalkboard writers do them.

That is where most get the idea that its a reasonably affordable way to advertise.

To make an A-board properly & made to last its far from cost of those with chalkboard paint on them. Quality costs

This board started life as one of those more cost efficent boards. It was taken apart & sanded back to bare wood, which in itself is a few man hours.

Both parts of the board were then given a coat of durable oil based wood primer.

Once these had dried both were then given further coats of oil based undercoat & a coach enamel top coat.

Obviously each coat of paint was given time to dry.

Once dry a quick wet & dry was given to get any marks or small blemishes out of the surfaces to have sign writing on.

Its better to sketch out a design on paper first & then pounce that design onto both panels, but the old skool approach was tried, but just sketching straight to the panel.

It took a few designs to get one reasonably pleased with.

Once decided upon the sign writing of the main wording was gold leaf gilded.

This was allowed to dry & harden before the excess gold was burnished & cleaned off. Then the outlining & other details could be painted.

I was still unhappy about the tight spacing between the L & the rest of the word, but these are what makes a hand painted & crafted sign unique.

The other details inc scrolls & coach lines helped disguise what I wasn’t content with.

With one side near completion the opposite side was started to match. The application of the gold leaf always makes the sign writing seem a mess until the burnishing & cleaning is done.

The remainder of the sign writing was then added to the panels, which had a fir bit of brush work detailing, but all added to the completed look.

One of the panels with all the sign writing completed. Both panels once completed were then given a protective clear coat gloss varnish.

The final stage was to assemble the panels with new metal feet, hinges & hooks, before delivering it to a very pleased client at the tattoo shop

Traditional & Contemporary sign writing for tattoo shop parlours in London


Traditional Signs of London