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Sign-writing, the traditional way


Very few photos of my sign writing survive. As a graphic art form, sign writing performs its function of informing the public, but doesn’t make for particularly interesting portfolio inclusions.


Sign writing the Golden Anchor, Co. Wexford

Trompe l' oeil sign writing

Trompe l’ oeil sign writing

The Golden Anchor, painted onto the front of a Co. Wexford pub had many people guessing how the landlord had installed the letters. I used to enjoy sitting anonymously with a Guinness listening to the various “knowledgeable” methods of mounting the signs.

The sign still exists some 20 years later. Subsequent repaints of the pub front have been cut in round my lettering. The trompe l’œil still works but the shadows were painted to go with the yellow coloured ground coat. When the bar was painted pink it didn’t work that well. It can still be seen in google maps.


Herd boards for cattle breeding societies

Sign writing

Sign writing – herd board

Sign board for cattle breeders. Most of these sign boards were recorded on 35mm film. Unfortunately this is the only record that survived.


Boggan’s Bar and Restaurant, Kilmuckridge, Co. Wexford.

The owner of the bar had a photograph dating back to the 1930s and asked if I could use the image in a humorous way to create the pub sign.

Sign writing - pub sign

Sign writing – pub sign

I used to paint pub signs in the UK where most bars are brewery owned. This meant that the signs had to be guaranteed for 7 years. Lots of prime coats, under coats and varnish.


n340net Cyber café sign writing

sign writing

“A board” sign sign written for a Cyber Café

“Locutorio/Cibersala” in Fuengirola, Costa del Sol. A sign board for a call cabin VoIP centre, mobile phone top up, online gaming and refreshments. Painted quickly for the opening.


Ponderosa Tex-Mex bar and restaurant

sign writing

Sign writing in varnish

Ponderosa Tex-Mex bar and restaurant on the Costa del Sol. Sign written with varnish on raw wood to keep with the old wooden feel in the bar.


Barraka Bar – Fuengirola

Sign writing

Sign writing over a faux finish

Distressed lettering sign written over a faux painted grain featured on the faux finish page of my portfolio. Painted for Barraka Bar in Fuengirola, Costa del Sol.


The Yacht Dolphin

sign writing

Yacht sign writing

Dolphin watching cruises on the Costa del Sol. The yacht was sign written on all sides with website and all contact information.


sign writing typography in paint

A word puzzle painting

This image above doesn’t really qualify as “sign writing” as it’s really a painting I produced playing with words in words. It’s in french and the way to solve what it means is to think of it in the same way as a crossword puzzle clue.