The Load Down Learning Lettering in London


9.30am – 5.30pm 


Regent House Business Centre, Suite No 205
291 Kirkdale
London SE26 4QD

– all levels – all materials and food inc

Start-up your Pro geared Lettering Skills

”I’ve got to the point in my life where being behind a computer for the rest of my life doesn’t sit (pun intended) so well with me. 

This is the course has all the insight to get you into the zone.  A workshop designed to work for all … and all creatives.

Thanks for dropping by – this page introduces the Painted lettering 1 and 2 day courses suitable to creatives at all reaches of lettering development who want to get started in a meaningful way. The day workshops are student specific, fun yet focused, responsive to all levels, needs and vocational.

Video signsmiths weekender NGS 003


A good teacher must invest and enormous amount of time thinking – approaching subjects in the mode of self renewal and adventure. 

Extract from The Silent Signwriter 1865:

These are actual facts worth your earnest consideration.

Commence to practice today. How quick time passes when one becomes interested. Just a little practice each day and you are soon a very fair SIGN WRITER, and you will congratulate yourself every day for having been wise enough to adopt this method for improving your position.

Taken from The Silent Signwriter

The silent signwriter LINK 

Oceans of Love typeface NGSNgs signsmiths at Play Brill giggles

Writer's block lettering 1850s


Signsmiths workshops rock! super cool writing

Learn to Paint great Letters with Nick Garrett

Support your local signpainter

Signsmiths workshops rock!


Regent House Business Centre, Suite No 209
291 Kirkdale
London SE26 4QD
Contact Nick:   


2014-05-31 15.07.42 Signsmiths weekender NGS London signwriting crew

By Hand Skills Building and Crossover

NGS Signsmith courses are built on the principle of sharing the knowledge and delivering to participants the level of learning they are seeking … and more besides.

Part of my responsibility is to put artists out there safely and with a good idea of challenges they will encounter.  Nothing prepares you better than experience, but by battling alone you will come to a point where the need for affirmation outweighs relentless faith… those with experience will tell you there is nothing better than sound mentor, preparation and support.

The big bonus is that even if you move on from sign writing, the execution of accurate contour painting develops hybrid skills that can be applied to most creative arts professions.  As an arts practitioner these freehand skills will allow you to enter a wider scope of professional hand crafted practice.

For the graphic designer it builds an essential 360 knowledge of typographic form and dynamic.

For craft enthusiasts and start-ups it will be a turning point in the way you deliver the final piece.  For the budding signwriter it gleams the sword.

For the artists it allows you to execute marks like a dream.

My background as a signwriter goes back 4 decades but I have always taught holistic practices including: fine art courses, paint effects, Tai Chi, meditation and today modern traditional signwriting.

I also enjoyed 2 decades as head of design and tutor to China Accent LTD Hong Kong.  My role there included training but also setting up quality product development and manufacture.

Production sav and agile methodology are essential to the new generation of sign artist.

Nabarro wall panel NGS Neon London

Above:  Recent NGS freehand signwriting project at 125 London Wall.



About Methodology

Great methodology keeps your project on track and your career advantage safe.

Hard won systems of management (learning, production and project), TM planning and design preparation carry through my practice today and load your learning with important techniques: tried and trusted for optimum ease of output in the very real setting.

Design thinking, prioritising, analytics and preparation are essential to successful outcomes.  At the heart of that lies something we also share and build on the day – clear, pertinent communication.


So today we are building scores of artists with skills sets that put the bacon on the table in not only a beautiful way but with ease… and that safeguards the professional against burnout and ideation fatigue.

And of course it’s a fair bit of fun too with great shared passion to drive the power!

Looking forward to seeing you at a future Signsmith meet.

Best and welcome,

Nick Garrett


Call me or email me for a place on the next workshop.


When you’re teaching independently you have a freedom to find new models and tools to help students learn… 

We have a uniquely honed system that works incredibly well.  Focusing your hand coordination in a logical gradient set of practices. It’s down to building you a solid methodology and having a damn good time.

INFO Please


Our Inspiration boards here:

Painting Letters Course

1 day courses coming up… Last weekend in every month except December.

        Link to course outline

Chloe signwriting




This really was a fantastic weekend – NG

Signsmith Workshop at The Lovely Gallery 140 Sydenham Road, London SE26 5JZ

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NGS is one of the leading sign crews in the world – we invite you to begin your career with the best instruction, aiming to give you the taste of this fantastic craft.


DAY 1 (of 2)

London is a global trove of wonderful ghost signs and vintage treasures.

We met in Piccadilly London, tracing from real Spirit of London Signs… we saw some amazing sites!! Walkabout among the Romans… and more

Chymist   Vintage lettering Ghost sign Soho

Above: One of the Ghost signs we will actually be working from in Soho on the Workshop Walkabout.   Lettering in London is a fascinating discovery


Day 1 – into the afternoon IMAG0501 (1)

We’ll head back into the workshop for lunch and create great letters all afternoon. Practice Observation skills, Drawing, Layouts, Painting Letters 14 strokes of signpractice All the component shapes for lettering. …………………………………………………………………………………………….


Day 2

London Chalk art artis chalkie menu boards chalk boards chalkboards The Art of Glass Gilding Pink Floyd's drummer saves his old drum shop Foote's of London


Continuing Gilding and Real lettering We spend the morning gilding our letters and head out in the afternoon sharpening the skills.


Practice: London Classic, Johnston block, Transport Romans, Scripts – Cafe flash and London Copperplate Cursive You will learn all about great letters of the past and how to emulate them. A super foundation for all lettering enthusiasts.


Contact Us – book yr place Join us: Strike a Beautiful Learning Curve! The perfect start to your writing practice..


Post by Nick Garrett.   …………………………………………………………………………………………….


NGS – Making London more Beautiful

Email me yr brief at

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You deserve a genuinely beautiful

Traditional London sign … don’t you?

Wanstead Fish Specialists painted by London Sign specialists NGS

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It’s the way they are composed, spaced and beautifully painted,

that makes these signs so special

Lettering detail Original Features Hornsey London NGS signwriters 003

Amanda Wakeley by NGS signwriters of london

No7 Temple Indian Gastronomy, Weybridge, by NGS signwriters Nick and Tobi


Classic, bespoke, hand painted lettering

& finest platinum, gold, and white gold leaf works




Gold Leaf Classics or painted - all our signs have something special

3 Generations of iconic London letterers

Great writing   –   Great prices   –   Great service

SINCE 1865 (orig. Baker’s of Fulham Stone Masons – today: NGS Fine Signwriting of London)


We support creativity and peace initiatives and right of freedom to ALL during these difficult days

Pass the baton of peace to the nearest person in some way, a word or show of love,

befriendship and co-support.  It costs nothing to share some warmth.

NGS London Cool Signwriting

 NGS bespoke design and lettering making you utterly fit for service.

Mirror gilding NGS London

 Signwriting and gilding to houses, shops, cafes, bars and restaurants


No7 Temple Indian Gastronomy, Weybridge, by NGS signwriters Nick and Tobi 002

London signs NGS hand painted

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NGS We love what we do 2...




Miami ink fini

T magic 3

Supaaa signs!!!!! :) Gold Leaf Paul Smith

NGS Proper sign writing


Sister Ray Soho By NGS London

House of Vintage Hand painted and gilded by NGS London



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TT sign

About me:


My artistic story goes back a few generations.  5 generations… back to my distant uncle, Cutty Sark designer Hector Linton on my dad’s side.

On my mother’s, my uncle, my grandfather and great grandfather (Bakers of Fulham) carved some of the finest letters across London.

Noticing today my preference for clean lines and watching them deftly chopping rows of serifs in stone as a child forms a clear picture as to why my work looks so different to any other letterer in London.

Their chisels shaped the way I create and teach our evolving classical NGS lettering today. Refined, crisp… always beautiful.

It is not by chance then, and not by some style based trend or luck that NGS signs look the way they do.   We are today as we were yesterday, tactical and genuinely passionate in everything we do.

But it was my mother who truly shaped the way I approach fine art, design and craft.  She gave me it all.
A couture dressmaker, Joyce Helen Baker had that rare gift of cutting the perfect minimal yet rich classic style.  The most difficult combination – today we still treat letters with respect and rarerly over dress them.  She always encouraged me to try for the finest detail, and crisp, refined profiles.  

To watch her as a young boy cut with such precision and alter even Chanel patterns drove me nuts!  How could she spend day pinning and re-pinning her pattern to the dummy. 

”It’s all in the preparation, the pinning has to be exact… not many people realise that”

She said with a wry smile. I must have been no more than 4.

Her simple example has stood me in good stead.


Since I began a bespoke signwriting service in 1981 I witnessed the writing industry grow, die (almost) and now an astonishing rebirth, bursting into life once again. 

We as a new creative signwriting and brand design team at NGS, are feeding this great art revival in all sorts of genuine ways. We love providing all types of hand written, gilded and painted lettering. It’s what our forefather’s did and what we continue for our clients today: lettering shop fronts, retail windows, doors, panels and walls.

I give my team, our clients and students everything I’ve got…

Our most popular work includes the simple door number, grand store fronts, corner shops, start-up, retail displays, hospitality, bars, restaurants, hotels, galleries, homes, objects and offices.  NGS is a leader in the bespoke sign painting London scene.  

And we are here to help you get it right –

Always by eye, by hand, by heart.  


So if you need the best, best email me today: 


Stewart Parvin sign by Nick NGS

Butikken finished East Sheene NGS LONDON

Eaton West London

Paul Smith Soho Nick Garrett signwriter




The home of immaculate signs

Email me for your new, bespoke, hand-painted sign

 London Signwriter -  Nick Garrett NGS

Lovely sign show open!!

Cat 2014

NGS Reverse Glass Gilding Cataloged 2014

Just what is it about a vintage hand painted London sign? A sign painted by hand is now a popular visual meme: an design idea, or liking that has spread throughout our culture mainly horizontally from design led peers, style trends and media.Numeral ManLots Rd signage NGSFootnote An NGS sign says much about your ‘City business’ and how you portray yourself. Most importantly is ‘performance’ and how effectively this sign will develop your business. Bespoke clients recognise instantly, the worth, of true artisan skills – and so an NGS sign is more noticeable to your key customers and soon-to-be-met new ones.Detailing and beauty at your business front end will hook you up with the right people…. the more that goes into your sign from the design point the better the final product will ‘perform’.  … a hand painted NGS sign which will inspire an aura of quality and attract the very best through your door. NG

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Enjoy the pages

contact me today

MAKING LONDON MORE BEAUTIFUL… by hand, by heart, by eye

Learn to Signwrite – Paint Letters with Nick Garrett

Hi and thanks for your interest

Hope you’ve had a good look around our Facebook and blog pages and probably elsewhere on the net regarding gaining sound knowledge of sign writing.
Where this course differs from others is it’s concise nature and EDU standards of excellence.  It also has a mission to build a lettering industry based on brushstrokes rather than keystrokes.
One thing you will notice is that this is a vocational course. But there’s something else…
it’s a course designed for all levels and one that crosses over into multi disciplinary uses.
So whether you are a graphic designer or scenic painter this course will reinforce your expertise; it will enhance your knowledge base and precision work, something that will move you into exactly the right roles and opportunities.
Let’s make UK even more beautiful and your creative appeal, second to none. 
Best Nick Garrett

Learn the correct Signwriting technique

romans 6

NGS London Signsmiths.  

Here you will find both technical and artistic training allowing you to go into hand painted lettering on the right path from the start.

Classes are suitable for all levels. We have all equipment but we do encourage you to bring a learning journal.

This course credits you 2 units on future accredited studies.

Painted Letters workshop units


Another great day coming up with all the pro writers’ skills and fixes shared.

Important note: This is an open forum learning environment with full sight of conflict of interests issues and no trade skills are withheld.

  • You will learn how to lay out a sign
  • Draw up letters and hone shape forms
  • Set out sign designs
  • Paint Johnston, Franklin gothic and Standard writer’s block (founding style of modern day Gotham)
  • Practice a range of Romans, Serifs and Cursives

Unit schedule of the day includes:  9.30am start

  • Tools and equipment
  • Suppliers lists
  • Learn to draw up and ‘set up’
  • Design and design thinking
  • Casual painters hand
  • Lunch
  • Block lettering
  • Roman lettering
  • Brush cleaning

Finish 5.30 pm


Sunday units continue lettering and designing medley panels with a focus on sharp corners, serifs and retro scripts.

Sunday start: 10.00am finish 6.00pm

Useful Links

Signsmiths weekender NGS London signwriting crew sweep

We’re all set for the next Signsmith meet … can’t wait to have some fun with paint.

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  NickGarrett[IWPHOTO]33davey doint the pen biz!!! NgsChloe signwriting

Contacts     Why choose us?     Course summary     Where we are

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