Signwriting Training for Beginners 2018 NGS London Signsmiths'

UK's premier modern and retro lettering course

March 2018 workshop

We have 2 main beginners+ courses running:

  • The 3 day Long Weekend (Friday evening 7.00 – 9.00pm meet. Sat/Sun 10am till 7pm).
  • 5 Days (6 sessions)


The course starts on the Friday evening 9th March, 7.30pm.

3 days – Starts Fri eve 7.00, 9th March

6 days – Starts Fri eve 7.00, 9th March

Continue reading “March 2018 workshop”

Courses 2018

Signsmiths NGS London courses in signwriting UK 14

The benchmark Painted Letters Course with

Nick Garrett, NGS Signwriting, London

Coming up 2018

Courses designed to get you working – for beginners or experienced.


March Workshops  9 - 10 - 11th  + 1 place left

The 3 day Long Weekend (Friday evening 7.00 – 9.00pm meet. Sat/Sun 10am till 5.30pm).

5 Days (6 sessions – with a freestyle day in the studio – you’ll want to have time without me harking on getting settled in with new skills). 


April 6 - 7 - 8th weekend   3 places left We have 2 main beginners+ courses running:

The 3 day Long Weekend (Friday evening 7.00 – 9.00pm meet. Sat/Sun 10am till 5.30pm).

5 Days (6 sessions – with a freestyle day in the studio – you’ll want to have time without me harking on getting settled in with new skills). 


May Weekend 

11  - 12  - 13

June Weekend

15 - 16 - 17  NGS Lettterheads 2018 with Gilding 

July  Weekend

6 -  7 - 8   NGS Lettterheads 2018


NGS @ Lettterheads 2018



Hi, great that you are up for this dynamic course!

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Long Weekend – 1 evening+2 days

Meet up Friday evening

Meet 7.30pm – 9.00pm. 

A course intro and NGS book presentation

3 days starting on the Friday evening with a group meet and sign project plan for the weekend. Each student is presented with an NGS training manual and link to our resource app. Fee balances are paid.

Day 1

D1.  Saturday 10.00 am. The Culture of Sign Design with Demos by Nick Garrett

Set up. Posture and preparation.

The day kicks off with drawing up key letters of the alphabet and dissecting the G, C A S and R for deeper look at how typographic structures came about from the chisel, pen and brush. I will explain how these key characteristics evolved culturally, creating voices and accents within the context of communicability of sign design. How these important timeless, trend leading typographic styles are being misunderstood and lost to the current fashion of Americanised pop culture versions.

  • Production methods for sign production.
  • Setting out layouts on site.

Lunch – Our local eatery Sugahill cafe offer discounted prices to NGS students

D1.  2.00pm. Painting Letters with Demos

Painting the NGS series of strokes that build all the brush skill sets. Going back a few decades there were 6 key-strokes that were practiced and used as a cornerstone for training signwriters. Some of these can be combined and so the distilled version we use is a better version. These separate the 3 most important strokes and combines the other 3 lesser important ones into more interesting and combinable shapes which I have found act as a far improved learning ‘forms’. 

D1.  4.00pm. Focus study with Demos

The painting of the ‘Forms’ then build sharp corner practice as show in pages 32 –  33 of our training manual. Further forms are introduced that are essentially NGS specialist techniques. These STs are not published.

D1.  Spacing and kerning rules and fine tuning tricks/checks explained in detail (manual p 67 – 68).

D1.  5.30pm Clean up and learning review. 

Incredibly important to learn the correct way of keeping your brushes in perfect working condition. The NGS brushes are custom designed for first time users. These are tagged to the student and can be purchased at trade price (zero profit) the end of the course.

Day 2

D2.  Sunday 10.00am start.

Painting re-orientation practice.

D2.  Free project design. from 11.00am until 1.30pm

Students can now select and create designs for painting throughout the day.

Tutors will allow students to work unsupervised with other participants in the room as co-learning partners.


D2.  Focus study

2.30pm  Learning review and demos

3.00pm – 5.00pm. Going Pro SWOT

Focus study based on student’s artistry direction/progression.

D2.   5.30pm. Clean up and review.

6.30pm.  Drinks at Sugahill Cafe

Application form fill below


Course Times:  

Friday 10th Nov 7.30pm – 9.00pm – Meet-up

D1 Saturday 10.00am – 5.30pm

D2 Sunday 10.00am – 5.30pm

The 6 session 5 Day Course

6 Day units 1-3 with 1 extra studio practice day

Following on from the Sunday Long Weekend session:

Day 3-4.  Outlining, Shading practice and the history of Roman Letters: Trajan and Sharpington of London.

Day 4 or 5. Free studio practice with start-up meeting and finish-up review.

Day 6. Cursive and script lettering.

Focus study: Designing layouts and site work/production skills sets.

Continue reading “Courses 2018”

Relic Retro: Distressed finishes – for letters and furniture

Introducing a much awaited NGS special finishes course.

Relicing letters and furniture.



Distress Urban Type NGS Signwriting London


2 Days intro or 5 Days complete


You will learn:

Checking crazing and peeled techniques with various paints

Wear and serious tear – how its best done

Patina finishes


How to make strong crackle glazes

How to make crackle varnish


How to sand down distress and create layers.


It’s all here to be learnt!




Furniture Link

Distressed Lettering


BOOK NOW for April workshop with dates to be announced shortly.



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Signsmith Terms & Conditions

Terms & Conditions

Signwriting refund policy

Courses are booked on a first-come first-served basis. You must have filled in the booking form and paid the complete fee in order to be booked on a course.

If the course is fully booked at the time of your booking, you will be offered a place on another course or your money back in full.

We require a minimum of 6 people to make the course viable – if the course is under-subscribed, we will offer you a place on another course or refund your money in full.

If you cancel your booking before the course we will refund you 90% of the fee, unless:
• You cancel between 15 and 28 days before the course, in which case we refund you 50% of the fee, or
• You cancel within 14 days of the course, in which case we do not normally give a refund.

Bookings can be held over to a later course at the discretion of NGS if the request is made sufficiently in advance of your course start date. It is not possible to postpone a booking more than once.

Cancellations of any program during the running of the course will not be refunded.

Under special circumstances NGS reserve the right to refund on a discretionary basis.



Signsmith weekends… The two most important days in your life –


“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

Mark Twain


Getting you on the right track from day-1

Our short-courses focus on all the key areas of signwriting practice including modern wehey, yeeha retro styles, classic sans-serifs, pure Romans and latin cursive scripts.

As a beginner you will explore not just lettering but sign project creation, idea generation and sign-design. You will be developing your typographic innovation skills and applying these to your unique personal projects, throughout the studio workshop.

And of course you will be learning how to paint beautiful, authentic signwriten letters, using the classic ‘6 shapes’ and new NGS consolidated techniques, designed to get results.

All of this framed up in some seriously real-life contexts and frankly hillarious up-the-ladder anecdotes! 

GRAB A NGS Vintage Type FREE APP!!


Above: Nina Cornwall is using the NGS Surefire brush for the very first time… she broke through with this brush and I caught the moment on my handset. A week later she earned 750 quid in 2 days as a pro letterer at Olympia, London. She’s not alone. Many students do this. More importantly she now has the confidence to win projects and execute them to the highest standard.

Dozens of others including Daisy Emerson and Jack Hollands have done exactly the same thing in the NGS studio… many are now leading and developing entirely new areas of the rapidly expanding sign arts.

The retail sign marketplace is growing into new areas such as hand finishes graphics and vintage chalkboards. This is the new heyday of signpainting and I have worked incredibly hard to feed and rebuild this craft.

Join the collective.

Signsmiths gilding and lettering course London UK 007

From the first moments, you will lose yourself in letters.

Make those first steps in the NGS studio and you’ll go far. It won’t take a lifetime, but it will last one.

Nick Garrett


NEW BOOK Release: Bones of Painted Letters. NGS

 on Ebay Worldwide Grab vType!! our FREE App!!


Noel Weber USA A book filled with knowledge, Fun to read and learn from.

Dave Smith UK Great little book with plenty of knowledge of this old craft. Thanks also for including me inside Nick Garrett a keeper for years to come for the younger generation.

Anne McDonald NZ  Fantastic book. I love mine to bits. Thank you Nick Garrett


1 Shot signwriting enamels

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signwriting art suppliers A.S.Handover London

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We recomend A. S. Handover for your signwriting kit.

A.S. Handover

Established over 60 years ago, we take pride in hand making professional quality brushes at our workshops in London and in Welwyn Garden City. We also specialise in supplies for gilders, signwriters, pinstripers, specialist decorators, artists and a wide range of other craftsmen working in stained glass, graining, marbling, stencilling, theatrical make-up, picture restoration, scenic painting, coach painting and a host of other skills.

To supplement our own production we also stock a comprehensive range of decorating tools and brushes, scumble glazes, signwriting enamels, varnishes, french polishes, universal strainers, pigments and artists’ oil colours, water colours and acrylics.

We are one of the UK’s foremost suppliers of gold leaf and gilding supplies with extensive stocks of genuine gold leaf (in several shades and carats), white gold, moongold, palladium, silver and copper as well as imitation gold and imitation silver.

Our wide range of products is used by the country’s finest craftsmen in museums, film studios, stately homes and the Houses of Parliament. Our loyal customers range from independent decorators through to the royal household at Buckingham Palace.


Contact Us Contact Us
A.S.Handover Ltd.
1 Farleigh place
N16 7SX
0844 875 3381 *
0207 241 5877
FAX 0844 875 3382
Company Reg no. GB 472786
Vat: 229 1861 53
* Calls to this number cost approximately 5.1p per minute from a BT landline

E-mail Contacts:

student discount supplies

Students get a 15% discount at our Flagship Covent Garden store and online with the London Graphic Centre Student Card.



Simply sign up for the card in any London Graphic Centre branch and you can start using it immediately!

*The student discount does not apply to products that are already discounted or on offer. It also does not apply to computer consumables (e.g. cartridges, blank CDs etc), books, magazines, Pantone guides or Freitag products.

Please note: You must apply for the student discount code prior to placing your order so that you can enter the code at the checkout. Unfortunately we are unable to give student discounts on orders that have already been placed.

London Graphic Centre for all art supplies

London Graphic Centre
Stationery store in London, England
Artists’ treasure trove, with graphic and art supplies, studio equipment, books, magazines and gifts
Located in: Covent Garden
Address: Covent Garden, 16-18 Shelton St, London WC2H 9JL, UK

Open today · 10AM–6:30PM
Phone: +44 20 7759 4500

Get your student discount

Students get a 15% discount at our Flagship Covent Garden store and online with the London Graphic Centre Student Card.

Sign up here and we’ll be in touch straight away with your discount code

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