Ged Palmer, an old friend of mine hailing from Bristol UK, is a traditional signwriter and custom lettering legend who just keeps on getting better and better. We’ve been in awe of his work ever since we first saw his custom lettering pieces poppin’ up in shops, restaurants and other venues across the city. We pull out some of our favourite pieces of his that we always come back to when looking for custom lettering inspiration and provide a few insights into the different techniques and skills used to create his master pieces.
This beautiful lettering work on the store front of the Wyvern Bindery in central london is a perfect example of the level of skill that Ged offers to his clients combining traditional sign writing techniques with a custom, authentic style unique to Ged’s work. Here are a few snapshots of the project showing ged in action and applying the 22CRT brilliant gilded lettering, matt numerals and abalone pearl inlay.
The beautiful serif type forms give such an authentic, traditional feel to this piece and the gilded lettering is done to perfection. Ged is an advocate of using small marks, symbols and scrolls to give contrasting weights and appearances within each level and line of text usage, and this is an important aspect of how to finish and finalise the design as a whole.
The Rickety Press
An all time favourite project of ours by Ged is the beautiful custom lettering done for The Rickety Press, a pub and restaurant based in London. The process shots and level of detail Ged goes into creating a piece like this is some next level love and patience and the final outcome is worth every blood sweat and tear.
Taking a deeper look at the above process shots you can see the variety of contrasting typefaces and styles used within a single project like this. Using script, serif and vintage style lettering all together to form one crest is what helps Ged’s artwork to stand out and become beautiful works of art. Every line, scroll and mark has been given just as much attention to detail as the main letter forms themselves and the overall balance of the piece is symmetrical and pleasing on the eye. Ged would research and possibly use existing typefaces as a simple reference or starting point but you can guarantee that every letter form is custom, unique and hand drawn over and over until perfect and original.
Here is some more beautiful work by Ged to inspire you..
Improving your lettering skills
Taking inspiration from designers like Ged Palmer, there are many tips and tricks that can help you when starting out in typography and lettering. First of all, it takes time. You’ll need to be super patient to create work at this level and then go back to drawing board and re-tweak it all over again! If you want perfection, dedication is a must.
To become a true hand lettering master, you’ll need to step outside of your comfort zone and stop relying on existing typefaces to form the bulk of your designs. Instead, research and put together mood boards of different lettering and type styles then get sketching your own letter forms. Perhaps you love an ampersand of an existing typeface, use this as guide, make the width slightly wider, exaggerate the curvature of certain elements, play around and elaborate on your inspiration to create your own artwork and improve your skills.