In case you hadn’t noticed, signpainting (yes, that ornate, hand-painted lettering commonly associated with canal barges and pub signs) has made a comeback. Actually, that’s an understatement – over the past few years it’s seen a massive revival.
So what’s the big deal? Why has this ye olde art form come full circle since its conception all those years ago? Why has it become increasingly preferred to digitally created vinyl signage, which is surely easier, faster, and a lot less hassle?
The answer is simple. Who wants a mass-produced, quickly churned out laser-cut vinyl sign when, for around the same price, you could own a one-of-a-kind, meticulously rendered, hand-painted original – or in other words, the real thing. Signpainting is a skill few are blessed with, an art that takes many, many years to master.
But honestly, how hard can it be? Being the hands-on folk we are, we invited signpainter Rachel Millar from Glasgow’s Globel Bros Signs & Designs over to show us how it’s done. Armed with some background knowledge, the absolute basics, a cool brush and a mahlstick (to keep your hand steady – supposedly), we had just 4 hours to practice and perfect our technique (‘Lift and twist’. ‘Lift and twist’. ‘Lift and twist’. Easy. NOT).
Anyway, we had just one letter to create. ONE. Not a short sentence or even a small word – a LETTER. And as you can see from the concentration on our faces, that was hard enough. Signpainting is definitely not for the faint-hearted, or wobbly handed. But I’m so ready for round two.
Thank you Rachel E Millar and Glasgow’s Globel Bros Signs & Designs.