Signs Surrey | Signwright Ltd

Signwright featured in Sign Directions Magazine...

27th February 2014
Signwright featured in Sign Directions Magazine...

We are proud to reveal an article in the highly regarded Sign Directions magazine authored around Signwright and the projects we have undertaken..

The creative options available to todays well equipped signmakers are practically without limit. For once, the old adage about imagination being the confining factor, might actually be true. Todays wide format inkjet printers, and the media and materials they work with, can form the basis of countless alliances. A dash of creative flair and imagination really liberates latent capability and produces sensational results. Chobham based Signwright Limited has built itself a reputation locally, and in the wider market, for delivering signing and other graphic solutions distinguished by strong design foundations and a mastery of media and technology.
Signwright is operated by Mike Tropia and Ed Pearse and their team. The company has been in business since 2009. Founded on deceptively simple business ethics, Signwright operates behind a business model that delivers signs that embody powerful identity. Seen through Mikes eyes, the eyes of a trained illustrator, it's all about attention to detail, quality and creativity. Mike's passion for design meshes perfectly with a powerfully configured Mac-based design system built and managed in-house by Ed, and, through a recently acquired Roland SP540i printer, yields exceptional results for the Company's customers.
Mike takes the view that signs are about getting noticed. Do a bad or indifferent job of making a sign and it'll get noticed for the wrong reasons or not get noticed at all. Do the job well though and a sign acts as a beacon for the business it promotes. Something that radiates quality and that provides a solid identity as a business foundation.
Signwright works with many customers who visit with a prescribed design or identity but is often, thanks to its reputation and skills, given licence to create something from scratch. It's at such times that Mike and Ed both agree Signwright is at its creative and technical best, something borne out by an attractive job produce for a recently opened fish and chip shop in Signwright's locale.
Gary's Fish and Chips was nothing more than a name and premises before Signwright created it an identity. Now, head-turning window graphics announce the business in style. Combining patriotic overtones, expert use of type and layout and some cartoon styled characters, the sign is effective and undeniably attractive. Colour, swept in density and tone gives the sign's elements an impression of depth accentuated by diffused holding shadows. The effects are perfectly resolved by printer and Metamark media.
Signwright used a novel construction technique to produce the sign and turned to Metamark MD-Class print media continuing a long-standing supply relationship originally entered on the recommendation of the engineer who installed Signwright's printer.
The sign is applied inside the shop's glazing and was produced by printing the detail on the print-receptive surface of clear, Metamark MD-3. A second layer of MD-3, white this time, was then laminated to the printed face of the clear MD-3 using the white material's adhesive. This technique yields a sign with sub-surface printed detail, visible through a clear adhesive face. Once applied to the inside of the window, the optical connection with the glass causes the printed graphic to pop” so showing the deeply saturated colour for which Metamark media are known to its best advantage.
Gary's Fish and Chip shop sign has produced numerous referrals for Signwright and appears to confirm Mike and Ed's attitude to investing time in creating strong design as being ultimately profitable. Extracting performance from hardware and materials is underscored too. A novel application route, supported by Metamark media, has given a customer a sign that will endure in addition to an identity statement he's delighted with.
Give an illustrator a palette as rich as that represented by modern materials and media and interesting things may result. Mike is a keen marksman and he was approached by a fellow member of his shooting club who asked if a gun stock could be wrapped. A metre or so of Metamark CF4 and some application skills later one carbon fibre gun stock was produced and delivered. A departure from signs as usual but a good example of how skills travel.
The lifespan of a sign is such that a customer may not return for perhaps five years or more after a successful installation. One of Signwright's regulars though operates on a more frequent basis, coming to Signwright annually for a change of window manifestation. Baines Simmons is a world leader in Aviation Safety and Signwright provides it with aviation-themed window décor.
Metamark MD-3 clear material was used in the production of a design resembling a tree with leaves formed from aircraft silhouettes. EcoSolvent inks render the subtle colouring with transparency and clarity and the MD-3's adhesive doesn't betray its presence. As a manifestation exercise, the design again shows its worth. It provides the coverage the application demands, admits the passage of light, and is well connected with the overall theme of Signwright's client's business.
Drawing on creative reserves involves taking applications to places beyond solutions arrived at by intuition alone. The very basis of sound design is often said to be rooted in contrasts. Seeing things from the polar opposite end of the telescope though recently helped Signwright create an undeniably attractive vehicle livery for its client NDC Garage Doors.
Signwright used the panel colour of NDC's vehicles as the basis for creating elements within its livery design. Visualised as a large reflection of NDC's logo, reflected in the vehicle's flanks, the livery's dominant design element only contrasts minimally with the vehicle paint surrounding it. The effect though is eye-catching and novel.
Signwright chose Metamark MD7 to produce this element of the livery. The process involved using the Metamark Brick” colour swatch to locate a close match for the base paint, and then in turn matching it with digital print produced on the Roland printer. The colour isn't an exact match and that's the point. Minutely tweaked” by Ed, it creates a convincing illusion of a structure reflected in the vehicle's paint. The whole effect, taken with the crisp typography and layout elements is one that's tightly on grid” in terms of NDC's corporate ID, but that radiates innovation though design. In interpreting and presenting it.
Signwright may style itself as a signmaker, but it's using media, materials and print technology that elevates its value as a company to the customers it serves. It takes the brief a yard or more further than invited. In doing so it creates signs that carry with them a sense of real character and enduring identity. To Mike and Ed, the materials they have access to and the creative potential of the production system they've built work in endless new associations of ideas and solutions that ultimately distil to highly individual signs and graphics. The results are clearly producing happy customers and their number is growing.