Tattoo studio signs come in very much unique styling. It varies depending on the look the tattoo studio is looking for. The clients that had their window signwritten wished for an elaborate & vintage appeal.
Their temporary sign had an ‘old english’ or ‘germanic gothic’ style along with a typical tattoo script letter style. They requested a fresh design based on victorian style & to incorporate gold leaf & a classic burgundy colour so time was spent producing a design.
The paper drawn design after several thought process sketches & pretty much decided upon. The design had vintage baroque style appeal with scrolls, filigree & acanthus leaf incorporated as well as serif romanesque style lettering. It got the clients approval So was defined, computerised & coloured.
The design was then produced to scale on paper to fit the window as best it could. The design also included other wording & the tattoo studio phone number to be written below the logo.
The tattoo studio was in its infancy & was being decorated before filled with the equipment which is the ideal time to produce gold leaf on a window as space around the window for access & not being disturbed is quite essential during the production process. The additional wording below the logo was produced with a speciality paint mask, which is a purpose produced vinyl, which is applied & positioned into place.
The signwriting was started with the black outlines first. this was produced using a specialist signwriting outliner brush. Its a case of slowly does it but its really the only way to get nice consistant neat lines. As can be seen the layout pattern is on the outside of the window & the light allows it to be seen so the lines can be painted on the inside of the glass but just back to front.
The clients were impressed enough to take an action shot of my outlining as I neared completing all the lining, which had taken a few hours.
Once the outlining was complete as shown above, taken from the outside of the tattoo studio, the size was applied where the gold leaf was to be laid. Some powder mix was added to the size, which is similar in consistancy to varnish. This allowed the size to not only be seen a little easier but also assist with the gold laying onto it a little more easily & consistantly when tacky.
The size being applied, which is what the gold leaf sticks to. It can be seen giving a frosted look at this stage. Once its tacky & near dry the gold leaf is applied to where the size has been painted on.
laying the gold is a process which requires experience. They are such flimsy sheets of pure gold & can be quite difficult to apply to a smooth consistancy. Its important to make sure all areas of the lettering that is required to be in gold is covered with the size & gold leaf, as patching in is difficult to do.
With the gold leaf burnished & excess cleaned off, the next stage was to colour the burgundy sections. A signwriter quill was used for this. The smooth flow of paint & soft strokes creating a nice consistant covering without thick spots or runs. This is important in terms of dry times as well as the finished product.
The outlines & shadow on the lettering below the logo was painted in burgundy. The paint mask was then removed & the paint allowed to dry. The size was then painted in the fill of the lettering & the gold leaf applied. This too got burnished & cleaned up. The rest of the burgundy on the logo is painted in too.
The gold leaf has to be backed up to keep it trapped to the window & adds protection when cleaned. Usually its with a quick drying black paint but on this occasion it was more in keeping to do it with the burgundy so that the image would look a little better on the inside of the window. The scrolls were painted in with a taupe/mushroom colour, which worked well as a mid tone between the burgundy & the gold.
All of the logo backed up in paint, with the wording underneath still to be done. Again the choice for this was the burgundy as the outlines & shadow of that wording was in burgundy.
The window with all the lettering backed up. All that was left to do was allow it to dry then re-signwrite over all of it with a clear varnish, which hardens as it dries & protects the signwriting from being removed when the window is cleaned.
The clients added some nice acanthus leaf cornice pieces to the window once complete & it blends so well with the design & also the look of the vintage style appeal. The window is actually facing an alleyway so its diffcult to get a good picture of the signwriting without reflection or light reflecting off the window.
The gold & burgundy has become a theme of colours for the tattoo studio & despite such an eclectic mix of items within the studio the outside has become quite themed using only these coulors for all its other signs.
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