Back to the Drawing Board

Back to the Drawing Board

The book begins by telling us that sign painting is a trade that’s experiencing somewhat of a renaissance. Up until the 1980’s sign painting had operated without the aid of digital props & mechanical gadgetry. Inevitably the development of such technology has brought with it more scope for modern day sign makers to refine their work. However, as the book points out, ‘there is a growing trend to seek out traditional sign painters’ and this news gives us a warm fuzzy feeling inside. You can find out more about the book and also watch a trailer for the Sign Painters documentary at

Above: Sean Barton works out of Seattle and has transformed many storefronts.

Above: The book includes many pages from Charles Wagner’s 1926 text book on sign painting and lettering.

Above: An example of work by Washington based sign writer, Ira Coyne.

This ‘hand crafted’ approach resonates our approach here at R Design in that every project starts with a pen and sketchpad, not with Illustrator and Photoshop.

We feel this allows us to concentrate on the ideas and get them down quicker. It is also a welcome break from the glare of a computer screen! Sketching our ideas out not only helps in the initial ‘ideas’ process but also helps our designers develop the skills needed to truly craft their ideas further down the line.

Above: Some examples of our early concept sketches for Crabtree & Evelyn. The final designs can be found on our projects page!

Above: Our initial concept boards for the cosmetic brand Eyeko.

From a personal perspective it’s pleasing to see this renaissance happening as otherwise this highly skilled art-form could be condemned to galleries and history books when it should be something we can see and touch in our everyday lives.

If you like your books to be packed full of ‘wow factor’ and visual delights you should look no further!