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A day of hand painted letters: Signwriting Sunday launches successfully

24 December, 2023

On Sunday 17 December, hundreds of people came along to Joby Carter’s first ever Signwriting Sunday event.

A free signwriting event for all

At the event, visitors watched professional signwriters create hand-painted lettering in different styles. There were plenty of opportunities to ask questions about technique and materials. Joby was delighted to see a diverse crowd which included those who had previously worked as a signwriter, those who work with letters digitally as a graphic designer and others that simply had an interest in traditional skills but had not tried signwriting before.

Joby Carter signwriting at Signwriting Sunday

 

Joby said:

There are not as many professional signwriters as there were 50 or 100 years ago, but I’m delighted that the art form is still popular and that people can find work creating hand-painted letters, or they can enjoy it as a hobby.The Signwriting Sunday event is for anyone with an interest or appreciation of hand-painted lettering to drop in and say hello and chat to like-minded people.

Signwriters at the event were:

Stan Wilkinson

Joby’s original signwriting teacher. Stan is in his 80s but began his career as an apprentice with Giles the Sign People, a signwriting company which was established in 1909. When Joby was a young boy growing up at the fair, he recalls watching Stan creating lettering by hand. Joby did an apprenticeship with Stan in the 1990s and Stan shared traditional signwriting skills with Joby that can be traced back to the Victorian age.

Aaron Stephens

Aaron came along and did Joby’s first ever signwriting course and then started working as an apprentice with Joby in 2007. He has worked with Joby ever since creating beautiful lettering and fairground art for Carters Steam Fair. Aaron’s understanding of the work of Fred Fowle and his skill with aluminium and gold leaf is second to none.
He is a volunteer trustee at the fairground Heritage Trust and teaches some of Joby’s heritage craft courses.

Tomos – @Momosigns

Tomos first picked up a brush three or four years ago and has worked with a great signwriter called David Kynaston. He has a varied creative background which has included sculpture, photography and graffiti and he has a natural aptitude for traditional signwriting. He has previously worked alongside Joby and Aaron and helped finish some of the hand painted letters which were created for Joby’s second book, All the Fonts of the Fair.
He works as a professional signwriter and decorative artist creating signage, hand painted lettering, painted glass work, public artworks and murals.

We also had a visit from Dom from the Repair Shop. Dom has previously completed Joby’s ttraditional signwriting course and has made some short films with Joby for his YouTube channel including ‘Signwriting Masterclass: painting the Ranalah’

Posters, prints, paints and more

Above: Joby Carter’s range of fine art prints and posters. 

Alongside the live demonstrations, Joby had a range of signwriting supplies available including enamel paint, professional signwriting brushes and his hand made wooden signwriting palettes and mahl sticks. The walls of the restoration workshop were adorned with hand painted signs and visitors enjoyed taking photos of them.

Hand painted letters, Joby Carter
Joby’s unique hand painted letters which were created for his second book, All the Fonts of the Fair were a popular choice for Christmas gifts and his fine art prints of hand painted signs proved popular too. Wall of Death was the most popular design which really showcases the skilled brush work that Joby is able to create.

Joby Carter wall of death

Find out more:

The next Signwriting Sunday event will take place on Sunday 24, 2024. To be the first to hear about upcoming events, make sure to sign up to Joby’s newsletter. 

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