Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - TRADES + SERVICES - Re­becca Isaacs For de­tails visit: wear­e­

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.

Pic­ture: CARLY EARL

Ross Wil­liams and Steven Cot­ter­mole en­joy the va­ri­ety and cre­ativ­ity of sign­craft

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