I Make Therefore I am – NGS
Great Design: Linton’s Cutty Sark
Blek le Rat Street art in Mayfair, London
Funky House Numerals – NGS London
Pink Floyd’s drummer saves his old drum shop Foote’s of London
When Stella Wilson the owner of Foote’s music store, contacted me in a spin having been let down by her trusty signwriter (no names but hey it’s tempting!), I was in a real quandary – with 3 days to go how could I pull off a 4 day gild job? Well she’s a sarf Lundun gewl and an absolute darlin’ how could I say no to her and Nick Mason…
The artwork was very cool and the outline went on into the wee hours of Monday and with a shove and gritted determination the gilding distressed really well, allowing the back up and varnish to go on with 20 minutes to spare.
Set out over two floors the ground floor opens up with brass to the left and a superb display of 50 violins on the right with skylights flooding the percussion and superb double bass (I want one) area.
The cymbal racks and drum department is in the cool spacious basement gallery which feels really energised and intense. Asking Rob how it was all feeling being a proud shop owner ”It’s got such a history… and this is a lovely street. It’s been a big effort but now we have it here it’s a great feeling.”
Champagne tasted fantastic and the opening was a blast! Best of luck to all at Foote’s and by the flood of customers this week (it is a stunning venue – with some truly great workshops planned) am sure it will enjoy a huge success and inspire generations to come. As for me… just picked up my first Ukulele ready for a custom hand painted motif or two! Nick Garrett
The drummer of the legendary band Pink Floyd has stepped in to save the music shop where he bought his first drum kit. Nick Mason provided necessary funding for Foote’s to stop it from going out of business.
Nick spoke to Lucrezia Millarini about his memories of the store and why he decided to help. Pink Floyd’s drummer steps in to save his old drum shop | London – ITV News Read the latest London stories, Pink Floyd’s drummer steps in to save his old drum shop on ITV News, videos, stories and all the latest London news
FROGZ Brush n Brand – 20 Hanbury St., Brick Lane. London Signwriter, Nick Garrett
Christmas Painted Wonderland Winter Displays – Nick Garrett Signs
NGS are offering a bespoke window decoration display service aimed at launching your Christmas spirit and fabulous Yule Tide season. Below are 2 great articles and some inspiration… am sure you have plenty of ideas.
Christmas Painted Wonder Window Displays
Above some beautiful Xmas inspiration – NGS also now offer this decoration service
This is a really wonderful example of the richness created by the hand of the artist… NGS
The Coffee Pot Continues Painted Windows Tradition with “A Christmas Carol” Theme
The folks at The Coffee Pot in downtown Greenville have once again teamed up with local artist Michael Glass to cap off their Christmas preparations with a series of window paintings. For their second year, Rob and Amber Garrett, owners of The Coffee Pot, decided to feature Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” with a portrait by Glass on each window depicting major scenes in the book.
The Garretts want to create traditions that residents can look forward to each year and mentioned that they have been asked many times about the window paintings throughout the year in anticipation for the holiday season. Last year, Glass painted several Dickensian type portraits, although there was no direct connection to the classic Christmas tale. This year, they decided to focus the paintings on the story itself, and intend to feature different Christmas stories each year.
This year, if you begin on the corner of 5th and Broadway, you will see the title of the story followed by a portrait of Scrooge. As you work your way north down Broadway, the windows hit the main beats of the story, including the ghosts and the eventual meeting on Christmas Day with Tiny Tim. Each portrait also contains a quote of a relevant passage from the book, painstakingly painted by Glass.
Michael Glass was still putting the final touches on the paintings on Wednesday evening. He said he has spent approximately 5-6 hours per painting from initial sketch to the final product. He also is producing a video demonstration on the methods he is using to produce the paintings with the hope that other artists could do similar works at other locations.
Stop by and check out the paintings and the incredible level of detail Glass has put into each one.
You can learn more about the art of Michael Glass by visiting his website by clicking here, and catch the many things happening at The Coffee Pot by “liking” their Facebook page.
Call us for a Christmas or sign display today
CHRISTMAS WINDOW PAINTINGS
I was asked to paint a christmas scene on the windows of cell phone dealer and to get some inspiration I decided to google some unique window paintings. I was severely disappointed with the lack of creativity of these window painters! So then I started taking notice of all the paintings around town and found the same boring Santa’s, mistle toe and wreaths painted on windows everywhere.
I ended up painting Santa excited to look down at his blackberry and see Mrs.Claus calling him. Rudolph was beside him looking down at a wishlist that included phones like BlackBerry and Hero as well as Telus TV.
Here are a couple holiday paintings that I thought took some dandy creativity.
The first two aren’t necessarily creative imagery, the style is just unique.
This next one seems plain enough, but Santa is wearing a visitor’s pass to the place whose window he’s painted on.
This next one was obviously painted on a travel agency.
And this last one is the most original in my opinion, painted on a music store.
|Talk to NGS for Traditional London Signwriting|
The Unexpected Renaissance of Hand-Painted Signs
Found this nice article which get it covered – real signs shape our street experience and work on many levels… continuing tradition is a modern thing
It’s true to say traditions are the hallmark of cultures and nations none more so than the artistry of the sign painter that was so part of the lives of our forefathers and earlier generations not so long ago. Working with traditional makers and artisans brings one in direct contact with the stuff and aromas of craftsmanship: practices, systems and efficiency. These skillsets and tools deliver repeatable quality so when one encounters traditional artists or makers one sees not only quality but often a surprising amount of quantity too.
Tradition harvests both – it is a flawed modern notion to believe you can only have one or t’other.
The streets of London, Manchester, Paris or New York were dripping with signwriting enamels rain or shine until 1980’s… and today a good many are now wanting to experience the skill of the traditional writer as part of their story and quest for something genuinely fulfilling.
I worked with John Pope on a few projects but although John has the skills he prefers to use fast applied digital masks… so why claim to be a traditional signwriter when you are not? It’s really disappointing because clients are unaware and pay full hand painted prices for digital screened products.
It is a real and proudly kept work among just a few of us in London: Pete Hardwick, Richard Apps, Matt Odrobny and myself – others like to sell and web market themselves as ‘traditional‘ signwriters but that they are not – they once were but it is us who now harvest the tradition.
Maybe it’s a poster in your local bodega, or the sandwich board outside of your favorite bakery. Maybe it’s the “No Parking” warning in a neighborhood lot. Hand-painted signs have long been overlooked, but new ones are popping up all over the US and, fresh or faded, they’re worth paying attention. Many of these everyday works of art are the result of a long-standing, highly skilled but dwindling tradition — one that’s thankfully being rediscovered, learned, and revered by a whole new generation.
Hand-painted signs have been part of America’s culture practically since the country was born. “At one point, every parking sign and every street sign was hand-painted,” says Faythe Levine, a documentarian who’s been researching the trade for a documentary she’s making with Sam Macon (due out in 2013), which also spawned their new book, Sign Painters. “The degree to which sign painters have affected our visual landscape is really hard for us to grasp now because it’s just not ever going to be like that again.” A viable trade and in-demand skill became an outdated form when printed billboards became the norm in the 1960s, and the advent of cheap and fast digital vinyl lettering in the ’80s nearly made sign-painting extinct.
Despite the downturn in business, a small culture of talented, well-trained sign painters persevered —like Keith Knecht, who passed away last year, and John Downer, both profiled in Sign Painters — and now, perhaps just in the nick of time, the handcrafted tradition is seeing a renaissance of sorts. Young sign painters are coming up all over the country, and cities like Brooklyn and San Francisco are rife with new handpainted signage. In the Bay Area, Damon Styer is leading the charge with his shop, New Bohemia Signs. Not only does NBS hand-paint signs, addresses, windows, and menus for businesses all over San Francisco, but it’s also helping to renew the trade through in-demand apprenticeships and workshops.
“It’s probably part of a larger trend of people being interested in traditional process,” Levine says. “I also think that because a lot of us are now working full-time on a computer, there is this re-interest in doing certain things by hand.” For Marjory Garrison, a Los Angeles resident who recently got into the sign painting business, her love of vernacular typography as well as a desire to get involved in her community drew her to the craft. “I do think it has something to do with wanting to have a greater sense of connectedness to things that are handmade and to the people who make them,” she says.
A sign painted by Marjory Garrison for Maine’s Islesford Volunteer Fire Department, recreating a font from a 1948 firehouse sign.
But painting a sign isn’t nearly as simple as putting a brush to wood. Though she’s been making her mark on the neighborhood for several years, Garrison considers herself a novice. “I think there’s an appreciation and a recognition that this is something that takes a really long time to get good at,” she says. Levine echoes the sentiment: “You don’t just become a sign painter overnight. It takes years and years of training and dedication.”
In fact, the most exemplary hand-painted signs are the ones you might not even notice. Design, layout, kerning, brush strokes, color choice, and, perhaps most of all, efficiency are the main tenets of good sign making. “There’s a difference to the hand-painted self-taught folk art signs that I’m aesthetically drawn to,” Levine says. “That’s not what a master sign painter’s work looks like, and it doesn’t represent the trade and the people who have dedicated their entire life to this type of work. Sometimes the most perfect sign has the least amount of flair. It’s just communicating the idea clearly, and you don’t even notice that it’s there.”
A long ago sign.
For folks who want to get into the trade now, official learning programs are scarce. In fact, there’s only one in the country that still teaches traditional hand-painting methods — a rigorous, two-year sign graphics program run by Doc Guthrie at the Los Angeles Trade-Tech College. Finding a sign painter who’s willing to take on an apprentice is another avenue. Levine suggests that “getting your hands on any of the old out-of-print books is a great way to start and just practicing.” And according to Garrison, online forums, like The Letterheads, are also a good way to find information.
Besides being beautiful works of communication rooted in technique, perhaps the greatest appeal of hand-painted signs is the inherent hope they display. “It used to be that you would own a business and you would pass that business down to your son, and he would pass it down to his son, so it would make sense to invest in having gold leaf on the door of your building,” says Levine. “You wanted to let people know that you weren’t going anywhere.”
A hand-painted sign does more than look good: it evokes an investment and, hopefully, a sense of permanence. Which is one of Garrison’s favorite things about sign painting. “It’s an incredibly optimistic line of work,” she says. “I work with small business owners who are just starting out on something. They are finally opening their general store or their bakery or their restaurant that they’ve always dreamed of, and they’re taking an incredible amount of care about the details.” Details they hope will be around for many years to come.
Lisa Butterworth is a writer and editor soaking up the eternal sunshine in Los Angeles. When she’s not on the hunt for the latest and greatest in girl culture as the West Coast editor of BUST magazine, she’s flea marketing, taco trucking, and generally raising a ruckus.
Huey Morgan and the Fun Lovin Criminals
Huey Morgan plays Jools Halland with a cool mix of NYC cruisy RnB..
… you know my guitar sounds best straight with a nice stack overdrive or clean… feel it and the guitar will give you it all
Huey is currently to be found chillin in his latest venture with his crew members aka Ami James Miami Ink at Love Hate Social Club Notting Hill.