Saturday, 12 January 2013

First post for 2013

Well, 2013 is here, and with it comes new challenges. The phone started ringing January 2, and hasn't stopped. Looks like it's going to be a good year for hand lettering. I spent most of last week lettering and pinstriping some vintage visible gas pumps. I'll post some pictures when I finish. This is starting to turn into a interesting sideline for me. It's not the usual type of work that I do, but I do find it enjoyable. It diffidently challenges my brush skills. I was fortunate to pull in a Ghost Sign project just before Christmas, thanks to a friend who was doing some paint work for a new pub. They had applied a faux brick finish to the wall, and wanted a sign that looked like it had been there for awhile. The owner supplied me with a basic design, and said I could re-design it to what I felt would suit the look. Here's a few pictures of the project. They also want a few more aged signs on the columns around the pub. I decided to try a new technique for the aging process on this job, and am quite pleased on the outcome. I'll be putting that process into my little bag of tricks. Thanks for dropping in, and keep your emails coming. It's nice to hear from you.

Here's a copy of the artwork they provided me with. Although this type of layout would work in print and on the web, it doesn't lend itself well to a wall sign from the 50s. It's nice that the client gave me artist freedom with the design. Wall signs from back in the day were designed to get their message across in a straight forward way. It seems that signs today are all about the wild graphics, and hard to read copy. 

 I decide to reverse the white and black, as it makes it more like the signs that would have been done back then, also it keeps it readable when aging. Another point is to use fonts / letter style that would have beeen common for the time period.

One of the steps I do on a project like this, is spend time in photoshop to generate a mock-up of what the sign will look like. That way, the customer knows exactly what to expect. Saves a lot of time and grief in the end.

After applying the layout, it's time to paint. For this job I decided to make a pounce pattern. Although I could have done the layout directly on the wall, I find using a pattern saves time, plus people are fascinated with the whole process.

I did the black first so I would have something to base the value of the white against. If I had painted the white first, I run the risk of making it to bright. I tried a new process of working with very transparent paint so I would maintain the brick color coming through. Once you lose the brick, it's very hard to get it back, and then have to spend more time on the aging. Using this new approach makes it look old and fade with very little effort.

Here's the finished sign, almost. I still have the top of the sign to finish, but I had to wait on the brick and ceiling people to finish before painting the top. They just called and told me it's ready. I'll probably do a wash coat just to settle the colors down, and make it part of the wall tone. Hope you find this interesting. If you want, send me a email, or post a comment if you have any questions.

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