Jon Telling explores the future of hand-written signage at FESPA 2015

Jon Telling explores the future of hand-written signage at FESPA 2015

During this year’s FESPA 2015 in Cologne, Germany, our very own sales director, Jon Telling, found himself on a panel speaking on the recognition of hand-written signage. Invited by host Output Magazine’s James Matthews-Paul, and alongside hand-lettering sign-writer David Kynaston, Jon joined in with a discussion centred on the resurgence of traditional methods and the doubts surrounding how it fits into a world of digital print efficiency.

“Hand-written works are considered high-end, like a Rolls Royce is to cars, but this car manufacturer could not fulfil the mass-market demand in the same way that perhaps Ford could. In the same sense, this can be applied to signage”, explained Jon, “A sign-writer is not going to produce up to 600 sq m of signage a day like some of the fastest machines can.”

It was revealed that many sign-writers are moving with the times, and now employ modern techniques to increase productivity and keep up with the market, by using computer-aided design to plan and print off final designs, employing screen-printing equipment to apply a clean coat of paint onto the reverse of a glass sign or, even, using plotters to help mark out a repetitive design.

“In many ways, sign-writing increases the interest in signage overall and helps to make the market wider,” comments Jon. "The debate showed me that traditional work now consists of both digital and hand-finished work, which really gives some exciting options.

“If you had asked me before if the traditional trade was in decline I would have said yes, but the statistics show that it is the opposite. It’s great to see that this way of producing signage is now on the up.”

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