Advice on Signing Work

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Amy Camlin
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Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 4:07 am
Location: Devon, England
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Advice on Signing Work

Post by Amy Camlin » Mon Nov 10, 2014 4:38 am

Good morning,
I am a young signwriter working in the UK. I am self taught, but it is my passion so decided this year to give up full time work for two days of painting each week.
I am loving balancing my career as a teacher with time to be independent and creative, however I am very inexperienced.
I am hoping someone here wouldn't mind sharing some tips with me for how to sign work. I do a variety of commissions, from full size traction engines to small house signs, but find using my smallest lettering brush and black (usually) enamel looks very clumsy and cheapens my work. Is there another type of brush I should be using? Or another technique entirely?
Thank you in advance for any help, I am really keen to keep the art alive in the South of England.
Traditional Signwriter and Illustrator working in Plymouth, UK.

Frank Smith
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:03 am
Location: Albany, NY
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Re: Advice on Signing Work

Post by Frank Smith » Sun Nov 16, 2014 9:20 pm

My best advice is to develop a signature and a legible one.
It can be used to brand you and your work.
http://albanysigns.com/sites/default/fi ... nner_0.jpg

Lee Littlewood
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Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2004 2:36 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Re: Advice on Signing Work

Post by Lee Littlewood » Tue Nov 18, 2014 2:48 pm

A rubber stamp can be "inked" with enamel paint and stamped on. Of course you'd need two: one forward for boards and in reverse for windows.

Another possibility is a small silk screen - I have seen one stretched across the screwtop lid to a canning jar. The problem with silkscreen is you have to clean it, quickly, and at the end of a job one often wants to BE DONE. But you can't beat it for accuracy.

For micro writing on glass, you can put down a shape in paint, then scratch into it with a toothpick (while wet) or a pin (when dry). Maybe drop some new color over the back to bring out the letters.

One thing I am fond of is signing windows in varnish. The sig may be a little clunky but it is so discreet that it is fine. And if it is a gold job, then I have a brush wet with varnish right to hand. The downside is that small letters in varnish get worn off quickly by widow washers.

I knew a guy in California who had a bunch of little enamel pins made, and he would hammer them into his board signs. Kind of limited utility, but they looked elegant.
where am i? Now, when i need me...

Joe Morreale
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:32 am

Re: Advice on Signing Work

Post by Joe Morreale » Sun Nov 23, 2014 4:26 pm

What I was taught and have used is palette a larger brush that has a real good chisel, maybe a #4. Using just the couple of hairs from the corner I can sign my work with letters as small as maybe 3/32nds of an inch. Its not beautiful but it's discreet.

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