signwriting lessons

First job as a signwriter… Nick Garrett

My First sign Jobs 1976-81. Nick Garrett

What a nightmare! I had no teacher, internet was still Star Trek.

My first job was repainting an existing tall thin panel outside an Antique ‘shop’ – a converted garage in Half Moon Lane in fact.

So I sussed that if I gloss over it with one coat then the original lettering would show through… it did and armed with some snubby art brushes I had a go at the lettering – I was 15. It didn’t look too bad because I simply traced it, but the wrong brushes were completely useless. My thicks and thins were out too. Damnnn… I had to find the right brushes.

Second sign 3 years later for Streatham Youth club phworwff!… a complete mosh. Still using the wrong brushes.

Sounds familiar??

The third, armed with a Letraset book and a full sized layout, was a mini supermarket, big chunky Microgramma and I nailed it.


A realistic ambition

Preparation started to pay off. But only with tough self criticism. I made a terrible mess of the first few jobs and wised up as fast as I could.

New people will help you

You are probably looking at this blog thinking… I’d really love to ┬ádo this… but can I do this?

I did so, you can too.

I remember rounding the corner of my teacher’s workshop entrance for the first time, drawing a deep breath, heart pounding, entering the unknown. ”Cup of tea mate? Kettles over there…” Andy went from one cup of tea to the next… he was squatting atop a strong bench whisking out tickets in french blue Keep’s ‘Intenso’ poster writers paint.

They were immaculate… I stayed brewing and learning.


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