production of an inn sign

Brewery Artists pub sign studio
pub sign undercoat
pub sign trace drawing
Farmers Arms pub sign colour blocking
Farmers Arms completed pub sign


The signs shown here are varied only because of the library of images available. Dulux trade paint was the medium used to prepare the aluminium sign panel and eyes. First the primer coat, then the undercoat and finally a gloss coat was then applied, the sign is now ready for the image to be painted.
No varnishing was necessary on completion. Signs had an average life span of 6 years, more if not in direct sunlight

Brewery Artists prep room with a 4x3 feet standard sign hanging from a mobile easel. The aluminium plate was fitted with copper bushed aluminium eyes to avoid creaking in the wind. This image shows the green primer paint being coated with a pink undercoat ready for the final gloss finish

A full size drawing would have been made from a reference or original artwork using an epidiascope. The reverse of the drawing would have been chalked and attached to the sign. Using a sharp scribe the image would then be partially or fully traced onto the plate.

After adding the details and outlines, the sign would be looked at critically. The emphasis was on quality distance recognition. For country pubs it needed to be clearly seen from a moving vehicle. With town pubs the signs are mostly positioned high up and are first seen from eye level at a distance.

This image (detail) was partially traced - outlined face, body etc. Large blocks of paint would be swiftly applied as it would soon become sticky and unworkable - usually within two minutes. After drying for maybe 2 hours the second trace would add the details to the blocked-in areas.


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