I graduated as a portrait painter in 1981 and started my first sign shop out of my art studio: Garrett Fine Signs, of Battersea.
‘‘THERES A PASSION AND INTENSITY IN THESE PAGES THAT COMES ENTIRELY FROM WORKING ON THE STREETS OF LONDON. NICKO
My writing training came firstly with Steve Chamberlain formerly with Lund Signs and then with master poster and signwriter Andrew Whitmore, who gave me all the skills and more - a faith in the brush. I went on to uphold these skills in memory of him… and still do to this day.
Steve really gave me the drawing skills that I hold so important today. Andly the brush flow. I was very lucky.
I really enjoyed working in graphics and typography on leaving Camberwell School of Art. I was recruited by Ind Coope to design pub signs with design guru Mike Jacks to inspire new pub sign identities. An honour indeed.
Closer to home my grandfather a master stone mason and letter cutter, Francis Baker who also studied at Camberwell under Edward Johnston in the early 1900s, had a huge influence on me. So the patient hand-crafting of fine lettering has been with me all my life.
Making some cold-calls as a young, 20 something newbie artist in the 80s, quickly won me some great clients. I found myself specialising in classic sign writing (from 1981-1990), for 2 national Breweries; Watneys and Taylor Walker, creating thousands of pub signs. It all started with a few phone calls and a bit of self confidence.
N G S
F i n e S i g n w r i t i n g
o f L o n d o n
Through a lot of soul-searching and hard work I became regarded as a top quality writer… though for me it was always more of a constant battle for perfection with nothing but passion, integrity and faith leading me on.
But in 85 it was ripped away from me with the advent of vinyl cutters. I believe we now are sowing deeper seeds for the future.
Open doors policy
Today I realise perfection does not exist for itself, but finding the essence and beauty in all letters really does. I pass my knowledge on openly and honestly to all of my students. I hold nothing back as so-called ‘trade secrets’.
It is an art and a gift I feel continually moved to refine and pass on.
New Generation of Signwriters
Welcome to this special practice, to NGS Signsmiths and enjoy the fruits of your own, new creative path.
You are probably the best thing that could possibly happen to this wonderful, revival art.
Nick Garrett, NGS
Dedicated to Chloe Garrett, Jack Hollands and Tobias Newbigin.