03 May Cape Town Signwriting – Traditional Sign-Smiths with a Twist
Cape Town Signwriting brings the timeless beauty of traditional signwriting into the the modern era. These crafty sign-smiths combine the age-old craft of hand painting letters and murals with cutting edge technology – to bring beauty into the world the smart way.
David Brits, the artist who established the company in 2011, shares the stories behind his favorites among the stockpile of signs that can be viewed on their Instagram account.
Athletic Club and Social
“This is by far the most complex pattern mural we have done to date. It took our team three weeks to complete and involved creating an organic repeating pattern based on a country sports and hunting scene.”
Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants
“At the time, these were the largest letters we had been asked to paint. The original plan was to project the design but obviously doing so in bright daylight drowned out any shapes we tried to project on the wall. Thinking on our feet, we came up with a new, previously-untried method and thankfully it came out quite well.”
Jack Black’s Brewery.
“Here are some bold block letters that formed part of a large project painting a number of textual elements and directional signage for Jack Black’s new brewing facility and tap room in Plumstead. It was our first project where we got to create the visual language with type across such a big space and with such a great client.”
“The type on the frieze of this heritage building emphasises the elegance of the historic architecture. The process to paint this was anything but elegant, however. The scaffolding we hired was not tall enough and our team members had to balance on a very rickety ladder to reach the tops of the letters. It was eight meters up and this was nerve-racking stuff!”
“This was a chance to try out a set of recently-ordered specialized signwriting brushes and enamel from the world’s most renowned brushmaking firm, A.S. Handover in London. It was our first real go at old-fashioned sable hair brush lettering and the type came out rather nicely.”
My Friend Ned
“Signwriting and mural painting is very much a public art form and this piece has proved an unsurpassed hit with passers-by. On a road leading up to Table Mountain, it has become a tremendously popular selfie opportunity with for those on the Red Tourist Buses.”
“This is by far the toughest mural we have ever done. It is six stories high and was done over three weeks in the middle of winter on a construction site teaming with hundreds of other contractors. There was no working elevator and we had to walk up eight flights of stairs with all our gear, then climb down multiple platforms of scaffolding to get to the level we were working on. All the while being monitored by safety officers through binoculars who scolded us for not having our brushes tied to our wrists. We did, after all, drop a few.”
St James Cafe
“This is a favorite because of its simplicity and the way that the hand with the crossed fingers makes you feel as you walk by.”
The Bull Run
“This was our first hand at trying to replicate the very complex engraving style of money – the portrait is of Benjamin Frankin from the Dollar Bill. It was a big challenge and it came out very well.”