When I first started my business, Signing On, in 1986, a client approached me wanting a huge sign that would make his lunchbar stand out. He had total faith in me to come up with the goods – top quality, bold and unique. This was long before we had graphic designers to draw up artwork on a computer. I distinctly recall sitting in front of the TV one night with a fine-nib felt pen and my pack of spirit-based squeaker markers, and the “Old Faithful” Letraset book.
Those who know Ross’s style may recognise his distinctive handwritten script!
The words “Bite” and “Lunchbar” were then transposed with a chinagraph pencil onto self-adhesive vinyl – the first of its kind released to the industry at the time. The letters were in fact cut from a fluoro yellow vinyl (which has now faded to a nicotine-stained colour, but looked fantastic three decades ago!).
The entire rest of the sign was hand-brushed onto 12mm marine plywood. Two oil-based undercoats were painted on both sides and sanded between coats, before two top-coats were painted with a roller, and a sable-haired brush was used to lay off the paint in all directions for a smooth, even finish.
What would now be around seven hours to make artwork, digitally print, trim and lay up, took us about 40 hours of beautiful hand-painted artistry.
Long live the artist’s craft!
Company Director, Big Ideas Group