Most signs and graphics producers are on familiar terms with the documents, process and scrutiny that goes with the territory when dealing with large enterprises and brands whose ID is tightly prescribed. Colour fidelity, style, proportions and placement are all ring-fenced and regulated. Even the material using in the manufacture of their signing and graphics may be specified - something Metamark is familiar with as its material are immortalised between the covers of many ID manuals that manage brands around the world.
At the other extreme is the client who wants a sign but knows little more than that. The business they’re asking to be promoted may have a name or it may not and the potential customers comes armed with a brief offering little more than ‘I’ll leave it to you to suggest something.’ Such business usually typifies smaller concerns.
Much more rarely, a small business will appear and its proprietors and partners will have ideas beyond the ‘definite’ and have very deep background to offer as to why. In such situations, the ideas or brief offered may transcend the practical, the affordable or both. On occasions though, something thought through, deliverable and really perfect for the intended application comes to light and, with a minimum of embellishment and practical input, it becomes a notable sign.
Such was the case when Toni Moore got in touch with The Voodoo DesignWorks in Bristol. Toni’s business had a name, it had an adoring clientele, and it needed the very sign Toni could visualise to put it on the map.
It was clear from the off that ‘Forever Bound’ Toni’s business, had a very deeply rooted but largely undocumented identity that Toni wanted it to project and so a meeting was arranged at the Voodoo DesignWorks premises in North Bristol. The time spent was put to very good purpose. Toni is a tattoo artist of quite some repute and Forever Bound is her business, her studio, and her passion.
Toni wanted a sign that elevated her business into an echelon where her art, and that of her partners in Forever Bound, is recognised as such. Her work demands no less. Toni’s works embody evidence of extraordinary depths of artistic interpretation and a masterful command of technical ability. Black and red design foundations and tribal embellishment would not deliver the sign Toni wanted. She produced some lettering at the meeting that was sketched out in consultation with an associate and this ‘spoke’ to the needs of the sign. It was the foundation the Voodoo Design Team needed to get its ideas out of the blocks.
Forever Bound is located in a beautiful part of Bristol near the ‘Downs and it rubs shoulders with shops and restaurants reflecting the quality of its location. The shop front features period architectural features that the Voodoo team would strive to accentuate rather than disguise. Voodoo’s lead designer, Rebecca Nelmes, prescribed a design that embellished the basic letter shapes proposed for the sign with detail to the letter faces, and picked up on the detail in a continuation fitting within the shop’s windows and doors. After a few very attentive iterations, the Voodoo Team’s visual was approved for production.
The Voodoo production team produced routed letter faces from clear Perspex using a Tekcel CNC router. The big Tekcel, and the Complete CNC Solutions CP routing tooling it uses, yields work that’s pretty much ready to use right off the bed but, knowing that just a little manual input post cutting would give the routed lettering the glassy look the Voodoo Designers had mandated, the briefest lick of flame polishing was applied.
Decorative faces for the lettering were printed on an HP Latex printer on Metamark MD7 digital media. Simon Weaver, head of production at The Voodoo Design Works can lay claim to knowing a thing or two about digitally enhanced type. He was responsible for designing and digitising some of the world’s first digital decoratively embellished type at the very beginning of what’s now become the digital sign printing epoch. The MD7 resolved every subtle element the design team had baked into the lettering. Gradation is smooth. Colour fidelity flawless. The printed detail was painstakingly applied to the routed and polished faces and the letting mounted on clear stand-offs.
The imagined detail for the window was made by the Voodoo DesignWork production team using Metamark Double Sided Metallised Films. Designed for cut and applied applications to glazed surfaces and transparent panels, the film performed brilliantly despite a challenging amount of very small detail. Expert application delivers the full effect Metamark intends with this high quality media.
The project stalled for a moment or two while the Forever Bound frontage was painted in a colour designed to reflect the quality of its surrounds and to contrast the new sign. When everything had dried, the Voodoo installation team got to work and a sign was born.
It’s in the nature of the work that Forever Bound does for its customers that every element of it requires a commitment to a largely permanent change. Toni’s works therefore endure. In delivering Forever Bound a [shop front sign] that positions the business among its contemporaries rather than its art’s legacy, Voodoo has helped put the business on the map and make it a welcome member of its community.