We had to choose hand-painted

We had to choose hand-painted


Celebrating 25 years of inspirational design and beautiful craftsmanship, Figura rebranded earlier this year.  As part of the process we launched an exciting new logo and typeface. When it came to updating the signage on the exterior of our Chiddingfold Showroom, there was really only one choice…hand-painted.

We were fortunate to find a local sign writer, working with traditional methods and dedicated to high quality craftsmanship.  He created some outstanding and unique signage which really brought our new logo to life and ensured we would obtain the best possible attention from our vantage point at the end of the village green, next door to The Crown Inn and Forrest Stores.

A sign says a lot more than just who and what you are, it gives the first impression of your business. With the skillful use of lettering and design, it sends the message to people passing that you take pride in your business, making it a valuable investment.

Beautiful artwork and detail for hand-painted fig logo

Over recent years, with the advent of vinyl lettering, high streets and shop frontage’s have all begun to look the same.  We have heard a whisper of a hand-painted sign renaissance….could Figura be at the forefront of this trend?

“Anything handmade truly expresses one's individuality”

The unique quality of true traditional sign writing is the mark of richness found in a personal touch, and in this digital age the revival of the human touch and craftsmanship is extremely important.  This belief is as important to the branding of our showroom as it is to way our cabinets and furniture are all hand-crafted.

Hand painted signs are the right choice for Figura. Our business is all about craftsmanship, detail and unique, individual design.  This cannot be portrayed using modern, mass-produced vinyl signs.

Maybe it’s the sandwich board outside of your favourite bakery. Maybe it’s the ‘No Parking’ sign outside someone’s property, hand-painted signs have long been overlooked, but a recent new trend has seen new ones popping up all over. Many of these everyday works of art are the result of a long-standing, highly skilled but dwindling tradition — one that’s thankfully being rediscovered, learned, and revered by a whole new generation.

Do sign painters consider themselves artists?

Sign writing is a learned trade. The sign industry originally branched out of branding and badging products in the late 19th century. The sign writer became the go-to person, because there were no advertising agencies then. Some legendary, iconic logos that we all know, like the ones for Ford and Coca-Cola, were designed by a sign writer. That’s how significantly the industry defined how our urban landscape looked and how we digest advertising.

Traditional sign writing skills started to become outdated when printed billboards became the norm in the 1960's.  The advent of cheap and fast digital vinyl lettering in the ’80s nearly made sign-painting extinct.

Hand-painted brush strokes

The unexpected renaissance in hand-painted signs is probably part of a larger trend of people being interested in traditional process.  Also, because a lot of people are now working full-time on a computer, there is a renewed interest in doing certain things by hand.   

A lot of people appreciate the effort that's put into a hand-painted sign, but they are also generally take a much longer time to create. However, like Figura kitchens and furniture, clients have a greater sense of connection to things that are handmade and to the people who make them.

With any sign and indeed with any cabinet made furniture, the finished product is only going to be as good as the elements that go in to making it.  Vinyl or printed signs hold the advantage and at the same time the limitations that someone else has already set up the production, colours, fonts, etc.  They usually have a neat professional look when finished.  Vinyl signs are weather resistant, but eventually suffer from UV breakdown if not finished with a UV resistant clear coat. 

If you properly prepare your sign surface, use high quality fade-resistant paint and a protective clear coat your hand painted sign will last for years.  By hand painting you can design and create whatever you wish, assuming you have the skills to paint and letter the sign.

Besides being beautiful works of communication rooted in technique, perhaps the greatest appeal of hand-painted signs is the inherent hope they display. “It used to be that you would own a business and you would pass that business down to your son, and he would pass it down to his son, so it would make sense to invest in having gold leaf on the door of your building,” saysFaythe Levine, who had written a book about sign painting. “You wanted to let people know that you weren’t going anywhere.”

A hand-painted sign does more than look good: it evokes an investment and a sense of permanence.