Nick with student
Nick hitting curves in the studio

nick garrett

I graduated as a portrait painter in 1981 and started my first sign shop out of my art studio: Garrett Fine Signs, of Battersea.



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.

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.

Today I realise perfection does not exist for itself but finding the essence and beauty in all letters does. I pass my treasured knowledge on openly and honestly to all of my students and hopefully to you too. 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.

Welcome to this practice, NGS Signsmiths and enjoy the fruits of your own, new, honest labour. You are probably the best thing that could possibly happen to this wonderful, revival art.

Nick Garrett, NGS

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