Wondrously Welsh – Vital Signs Cardiff

Is less really more? Vital Signs’ work for Wondrously Welsh makes a very compelling case that says it is…

It’s perhaps just as well that signs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and are of widely varying quality in terms of design and execution. How else would we have a basis for deciding that one sign among the many is really notable and a real exemplar of its type?

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One such sign is the work of Vital Signs of Bristol and Cardiff. Gareth Lewis started the company about ten years ago. He has deliberately managed it as a small concern, and, if his recent work for Wondrously Welsh is in any way an indicator, it’s a company that’s capable of producing works which position it at the top of its game.

Wondrously Welsh itself is to be found in the Morgan Arcade in Cardiff. It’s a shop and it can be thought of as a place where the products of Wales exist under one roof so creating a very convenient shopping experience for those seeking out those products. In keeping with other shops around it, Wondrously Welsh needed a projecting sign identifying the shop, and an identity continuation in the form of some applied window graphics.

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Vital Signs obliged.

Working with a supplied design basis, Vital Signs used its Roland VersaCAMM and Metamark materials to produce the graphics. Sat in a field of very near off-white on the projecting sign is a solitary representation of a daffodil depicted in very minimal terms with just a blush of colour contrasting with the off-white background.

Identifying the sign and the premises it graces, a simple flowing script, lacking any formality, picks out the words, “Wondrously Welsh.” Disposed on the sign in a balanced layout, the ensemble is a thing of real beauty. It does no more than the job it’s asked to do and it certainly does no less. It makes a powerful point for signing in general and that is that quality counts and that subtlety works brilliantly.

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Vital Signs used Metamark MD5 for the projecting sign’s graphics and the theme is continued on the shop’s windows. Again, it’s just the simplicity and quality that radiate through the Metamark satin laminate that protects the whole installation. The whole job transcends its purpose in saying much for the expertise of Vital Signs and it makes a point for beautiful sign design in general.

Design, and good design at that, is said to be rooted in contrasts. That thought finds confirmation in Wondrously Welsh’s wondrously simple and effective signing. Great signs among others are distinguished as the sum of the parts working together. Vital Signs’ work for Wondrously Welsh, bound up as it is in a quality job realised with some Metamark materials, serves to make that point too.

Wonderful work, Vital Signs.


Vinyl Signs of Whitby puts Bothams back on the map

The charm of old, narrow streets and the bulk of modern heavy goods vehicles don’t make the best of partnerships as an ornately bracketed sign above long established bakers, Bothams of Whitby was to discover. There’s been a Bothams in the ancient port town since 1865 arguing that it has a longer-standing claim on its space than articulated trucks do.

A projecting sign identifying Bothams was recently introduced to a bit of close-quarters contact with a truck and came off second in the encounter. The sign, a beautiful hand-painted piece framed with an ornate projecting hanging bracket was created and fitted by well-known local sign artist Robert Lamerton. The blacksmith crafted bracket work was easily straightened but the sign panel itself, was beyond economic repair.

Enter Vinyl Signs of Whitby and its managing Director Robert Lamerton, the same Robert Lamerton who’s painted the original. Robert prescribed a replacement panel in more modern, resistant materials and proved that a trained eye for lettering and layout in tandem with today’s hardware and materials can produce a spot-on result.

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Metamark M7 cut and applied materials now do the job once reserved for brush applied paint. The detail is cut from several Metamark M7 colours and skilfully laid up against the M7 background. Bothams now has its sign back and looking its traditional best. The sign also enjoys the benefits of its being made from modern, maintenance free materials by a hands-on craftsman.

Robert Lamerton commented, “I learned signwriting in the traditional sense and it has given me an appreciation for lettering and layout that works well it today’s modern market too. It’s good to see Bothams’ sign restored to its position above the shop. We’re ready to oblige again if needed!”

Robert’s company, Vinyl Signs of Whitby undertakes the design and production off all forms of signing and vehicle graphics and is well known to businesses in the locality.