Middlesex - Classic Signs – but with a modern twist

An estate agents sign.
An E-series Router with work samples on top.
Signage for this retail outlet has the clean and modern look required.
Striking signage from Classic Signs.
Paul Hopkins formed Classic Signs of London in 1992, based in Enfield, when he decided to put his sign making skills and experience to use in his own company.

After finishing art college some 28 years ago, Paul went to work in a local sign company as a sign writer. But soon he realised that making signs was much more exciting and versatile, so he began to fabricate signs, initially in Perspex, a material he continues to use today.

Back then Paul did everything by hand, even drawings. The letters were projected on to a wall and scaled up, the Perspex sheet was hand cut using bandsaws and fretsaws, then sanded to produce the finished job.

Advances since then include built-up and inlaid lettering, which have been largely replaced now by vinyl machines at Classic Signs, although the company still produces built-up lettering and inlaid signage to customer order.

Materials used in signmaking have also changed. Most of the signs Paul creates now consist of Dibond backgrounds and are stencil cut and illuminated, with panels folded to produce a tray and a seamless finish.

"One of the good things about Dibond is its versatility," says Paul. "When tackling certain jobs like unsightly shutter boxes we can extend the tray to cover the box for a much neater job, replacing traditional panatrim frame systems and light boxes. Again, all this manufacturing process used to be done by hand using jigsaws and routers, which obviously takes time."

Paul has worked together at Classic Signs with Mario Kyriakides for several years and the pair have developed a high level of skill and expertise. In 2006 it was decided to invest in a 3m x 2m Tekcel CNC router, which changed the way they worked forever.

"It's quick, accurate and versatile. We began taking on jobs that normally would be subcontracted out. The bulk of our work is trade and with our years of experience, we are able to advise the best production finish for any type of sign," says Paul

"We have also experimented with Dibond and managed to form it in our oven to create countless effects. We can also turn out unrivalled pieces of work using the router, as in bevelled and engraved signs used for estate agents displays. Currently we are updating our website and that will show how versatile we are and have examples of our fitting services."

Classic Signs can be contacted via telephone 0208 805 4649 or go to www.signsoflondon.co.uk

Design by Hinchliffeart.co.uk