Traditional signwriting means by hand – not by rip-off digital stencil!

What it means to have a sign written by hand – and not by digital stencil!

I am a dedicated professional sign artist with 31 years of experience and dedication by brush… I speak with a lot of writers who have given it up – they have sadly opted for digitally produced stencils (it’s always a good idea to check your signwriter will paint your sign by hand brush – without digital stencil).

The stencil is cut by computer and laid in place – it is low tack after it is rubbed in and flat the stencil is painted with a flat fill-in brush and when that coat is just dry the stencil is peeled off leaving a sharp digital painted letter – a lot like vinyl in final appearance but without the problems of shrinkage.

I find this really quite sad and alarming – are some touting Traditional Signwriting? Often yes and the unsuspecting client pays for a traditional painted sign and gets a quick stencil rip.

When a sign writer crafts your logo with the brush it comes from thousands of hours of dedication – it embodies this dedication in a flowing emblemic quality, that fills the work with a whole essence of artistry and commercial power… and if needed either the warmth of traditional sign romance, classic elegance or cool minimalism.

For example on a straight letter a writer will flair the letter at the corners to add a sharpness, refinement and tempo.

The Traditional writer will adjust letters at will.  I, for example change certain letters if I feel the font is designed solely for paper or on-screen reproduction.  Good writers improve fonts.

Either way a digital sign stencil can’t match the human in human terms can it… and yes while digital is by nature pin point accurate, it should cost you far less, because it is only a shade better than cheap vinyl and incredibly easy to produce.  There are skills involved but zero artistry.

Digital stencils are used and passed off as genuine signwriting and that is what I aim to head you up on here – the final artwork will lack flow, depth and beauty.  But if you want it, go to a non traditional sign company and get a good deal at the right price.


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