SIGN OF THE TIMES SIGNCRAFT MIXES NEW AND OLD
WHEN Steven Cottermole learned signcraft in the 1970s, it was his skills as a qualified painter that came in handy.
Times have changed — the trade has become largely digital — but Mr Cottermole, co-owner of Sydney-based company We Are Signs, still loves doing handpainted jobs.
“There has been a resurgence of demand for authentic signcraft, especially with new and trendy restaurants and wine bars,” Cottermole said.
“You can spot the difference — there might be tiny imperfections — but people appreciate the oldworld look.”
Traditional signcraft can be costly due to the time and effort in- volved, so much of the work of Mr Cottermole and his business partner Ross Williams is done on computers using photo editing and graphic design software.
Signage materials have also changed. For example, heat-sensitive vinyl moulds and sticks to the curves of cars where it used to shrink and pop off. Outdoor signs can be UV-laminated to protect ink from fading in the sun.
With many new product producers and suppliers, Mr Cottermole said there had been a reduction in quality. But he and Mr Williams enjoy their job as much as ever. “It’s a mix of speed, handiwork and artistic flair. Everyday is different,” he said.
Ross Williams and Steven Cottermole enjoy the variety and creativity of signcraft