Signwriting Course Themes:  Painting strong letters - design contexts from Rome to Chicago


Yo Ho Ho!! Seasonal Greetings to all and 10% January weekender sale price for our Courses book in the next week! 

NGS Xmas pressie +10% off. Finishing midnight 26 December on the January Course!

231.50 for the weekend inc materials.


Saturday 9.30am – 5.00pm

Sunday 10.00am – 6.00pm

NGS Unit 205 Regent House Business Centre, 291 Kirkdale, London SE26 4QD

If you need any additional info just call or email Nick – back to you by return. If you can’t make this date join our mailing list.

+44 (0)7960113799




Quality education is all about detail and engagement.


Shared Wisdom

John Stevens, the great lettering master who used calligraphy to design a myriad of brush and carving work, said,

“Each stroke should have interest, no small stroke or serif is less important. Let us remember at the same time that consistency is not the goal, but rather we want all of the forms to flow together so that the hand-lettered signature effect can be visible.”



Drilling down deep into this art is just the beginning.  A really good artist is always fresh and open to new ideas but savours all new things that happens between the hand and brush.

Program summary

What you will do on the 2 days


Drawing letters component

A drawing practice to include an hour of solid block letter drafting.

Design and Spacing

A new method adding a better spacing system and sound design mechanics.

Morning Talk Talk

Defining Tradition and how to make great advances

Painting Letters

Understand the brush and exactly how it plays from pallet to letter.  Clean, precision shape formation, crisp finishing, honed technique…


Fine tuning technique from Day 1.

  • Heads-up Sign project set-up.
  • Set up practice – how to tackle cold weather, wind and rain.  
  • Set up practice – Which tapes work and which fail.
  • The secret of super hot Brush skills – spend focused time on the priceless skill builders. Learn the NGS sharpening skills.


  • Painting great letters – techniques and styles you will learn:


  • Brush and Kit care  –  how to clean and preserve great brushes
  • Drawing and trace practice  –  analysing structure of blocks and Romans
  • Brush skills development sets  –  specific NGS refinement practices
  • Dom Casual USA style  –  understanding the brush sequences
  • Block/Roman  –  developing the essential skills
  • Casual Script – Boston and S American style characteristics
  • Shades  –  how to mix and blend flowing shades 

Certificated study and accredited learning 2017

Diploma of Traditional Signwriting 

NGS of London are putting the final detail on an Art and Signwriting Foundation Diploma year for 2017 launch.

It will bring together the most complete 1 year signwriting program since the disbandment of City and Guilds training 2 decades ago. Gilding, design and fine art modules can be incorporated making it a versatile diploma suitable for high degree entry.

”It’s taken a couple of years to put together and is a really exciting first for the industry – since the demise of City and Guilds this is the prospect of restaging a much needed, qualified painted letters courses across UK for a new generation of sign-writers.” Nick Garrett NGS Signsmiths London.


Kinetic learning more than muscle memory


This course is intended to be two things: a celebration of the art of signwriting and an in-depth insight into the technical mechanics that lie behind that art. The student base audience ranges from young design students and pros, through to lovers of type, craft creatives and wider art practitioner audience.


Signwriting has always been driven by cultural, social and commercial need; but it’s the professionalism and exacting standards of the signwriter that delivers truly beautiful and excellent results – whether in a formal or expressive design, a piece of gold leaf rendering on glass, or a re-imagining of the humble chalkboard. And those standards come from equally exacting teachings and mentoring from the signmaster.

There are completely new, next level teachings in this course, that will stay with you as long as you own a brush.

Welcome to NGS Signsmiths. 

Nick Garrett


Foundation Skills

Old School Beauty – New Era Design & Application

About this craft revival and new heyday


Sign writing is booming once again, coming back from the brink during the eighties. It’s now a growing, thriving craft, nay trend leading cult.  

London has been the capital of this revival with a Hipster passion for all things embellished by hand, tattooed and inscribed. This new layer of high style design has interlaced with the existing classical lettering styles of the city and created a hybrid new, typographic vibrance.


The art of signwriting depends on a virtuous cycle that starts with passion, which leads to dedication, which leads to investment of time into skills, which become a craft, which feeds passion . . . and so we go round again, reaching new heights in pursuit of perfection in every stroke, serif, in every letterform, in every project. Particularly appreciative to those delivered by the greats, whom I thank for their support and inspiration over the years, such as Noel Weber and David A. Smith, the enduring influence of the renowned arts and crafts typographers Edward Johnston and Ernest Michael Dinkels.


Who this course suits


If you are completely new to this then you are in the absolutely right place!  This course is designed for ALL levels. The complete unfettered beginner can come in and start with this groundbreaking workshop.

The chalk artist & set painter: merging skill sets into a clean brush technique

The wannabe signwriter: refining precision, shape and typographic history

The student or creative pro: a whole gamut of invaluable crossover skill sets for a wider pro practice

For the complete beginner or lettering enthusiast this course aims to give you from the very first, a correct method of how to create beautiful lettering.


Video link

Bring your own inspiration for this course

 Practice strokes

January 2017 another special, NGS Painted Letters course.

Contacts, Info and Booking link here

Fwd your contacts and I will get back to you with prices and availability immediately.


Book your easel today


If you need any additional info just let me know.  Please forward any questions and I will get back to you by return.

Nick Garrett

NGS Unit 205 Regent House Business Centre, 291 Kirkdale, London SE26 4QD

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