TRADITIONAL COMPUTERISED VEHICLE GRAPHICS
Not sure if you’ve notice, but in the midst of all the pandemic related calamity that dominates the news, the housing sector seems to have been pretty busy recently. That meant a long-term customer of Durrington based Steele Signs hitting the phone and wanting a job that had been in the offing for best part of a year tackled.
The job involved a basic refurbishment of a couple of demountable bodies for a removal truck being bought up to date. The work was of a somewhat temporary nature but that didn’t stop Gwaredd Steele and team digging deep and coming up with something really functional and very attractive.
The work is a great example of what it’s a pleasure to describe as ‘traditional computerised sign making.’ That’s to say, there’s a computer or two behind the generation and production of the sign but there’s no printer - it’s all cut and applied.
Let’s start with the logo. Russell’s, that’s the client, logo, is an echo, and a really powerful one, of a signwriter’s hand. It’s a personal and very attractive script that owes its being to no font with a name and only casually drawn influences as a cursive typeface. It’s beautiful. Given that it predates anything digital it had to be vectorised.
Getting to vectors in this case involved digitising a photographic record of the typeface. There’s nothing in this logo to befriend the would-be digitiser in any way. No pure circle sections or arcs to make it simple and, because it’s rendered in two colours, one colour keeps check on the other for its accuracy. As exercises in digitising go, it’s a nightmare - nothing less.
With the logo tamed and ready to cut, the next thing that rears up to challenge is the sheer scale of thing. Cutting the continuous detail that comprises the sign means that some coloured vinyl has to make repeated trips though a fiction-fed cutting plotter and come back where it started to within a hair’s breadth. That’s not a trivial undertaking.
Gwaredd obviously looks after his kit well because he’s not only got the cutting done, he’s got it done right. Metamark M7 can take a bow at this stage too. It’s legacy is based on materials engineered in the days when getting roll products to lay flat and stay flat way quite something. M7 always has played well with friction fed plotters and it had a good day out on this occasion too.
We’re not out of the woods yet. The final piece of this big jigsaw is getting all the parts on the bodywork and in the right place. Steele Signs is experienced to the extent it knows how to do that but it’s still a bit of a stretch when there’s a second colour that the first needs to cosy up against. It did however, and the whole plot looks great.
We really like this job for its look and feel and for the fact it calls back skills that, even in the digital print age, can still exert an advantage. It’s a great piece of work that has class leading aesthetics going for it and considerable technical merit. If you want something similar, talk to Steele Signs.