Middlesex - Fabricut: 3 generations in the trade

Sign for Putney Cycles With three generations of Newmans working at About Signs, it's very much a family business, and after nearly 20 years in the industry, and forming Fabricut, the trade wing three years ago, the company is far from provincial; supplying the trade all over the UK and into Europe.

After moving to a smart 6,000 sq.ft. purpose-designed premises in Feltham in 2006, Fabricut was able to forge ahead, investing in the latest machinery and equipment, enabling it to offer the sign trade with an unrivalled service.

Paul told Sign Update "One of the most important things when servicing the trade is a quick turnaround; 24 to 48 hours is standard in this industry, so good staff with versatile skills and the flexibility to do overtime is of key importance."

Fabricut's Built-up letter examples

The right equipment is just as important and Fabricut’s include the latest CNC routers, flame and diamond polishers, as well as the usual printers, plotters and laminating machinery needed for day to day sign production. In addition, Fabricut is proud to be one of the few trade suppliers that offer an in house built-up letter service using the talents of a master craftsman with 30 years experience, and who produces work that is second to none.

Fabricut is also proud of the range of products and quality service it can offer, and has received many testimonials that back up the company’s claims of being a leading supplier to the sign trade.

"We are constantly designing and testing new ways with materials so that we can offer as many alternatives as possible to our clients. We send regular newsletters and offers to keep everyone up to speed with the latest developments," says Paul.

Plaque opening by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh at the RSA AcademyFabricut and About Signs can boast many high profile pieces of work. The latest is a plaque for the RSA Academy in Tipton, West Midlands, which was unveiled by His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh in November 2008. The etched and filled brass plaque is inset flush in a larger panel of aluminium, so it appears all as one piece on the wall. The main panel was constructed from a 6mm aluminium base sheet with a 3mm aluminium sheet bonded on top of this. The 3mm sheet has a hole cut into it so that the brass plaque fits flush into it.

Paul explained that water jet cutting rather than CNC was used to cut the hole, in order to achieve perfectly square corners in preference to rounded ones. The 3mm panel was spray painted and stove enamelled (cured) in a low temperature oven. The panel was stepped off the wall with another gold coloured tray and spacers, bolted into the wall.

Paul continues: "They didn't want to clean the brass plaque on the panel because you get a chalky effect from the brass cleaner, which leaves a white green mark after a while. It's designed so that the school caretaker can easily unscrew the four brass caps by hand because they have a machined threaded back. The brass plaque can then be taken off, cleaned and put it back in, and the surrounding aluminium panel stays nice and clean.

Fabricut sign in the entrance of their premises.

"It took seven days to design, come up with a simple and effective way of fixing, and then make the plaque. We also had two installations to do " a temporary one at 6:30 in the morning ready for the press and the later official unveiling by the Duke of Edinburgh, then another the next day to relocate the plaque to its permanent position."

Two more prestigious pieces of the group's work can be seen at Stanford Bridge, Chelsea FC's ground; the lead for these was given via Interiors of Richmond. The company has also completed projects throughout Europe including an exhibition in Venice, Italy, and work for Gazprom International in Paris.

When Sign Update visited, one project the team was working on was for Putney Cycles. This sign has a Dibond back tray housing several T8 fluorescent tubes and gear trays. The front is a brushed Alupanel fret cut tray, with several curved lines running through it. These lines have been fret cut and replaced with polished Alupanel, inlaid flush with the rest of the panel, to create a stylish and eye-catching background. The letters are made from 10mm clear acrylic, faced with 3mm stove enamelled aluminium, and pushed through the fret cut tray. The clear acrylic lets light through to reflect off the aluminium and creates a halo effect.

In recognition of the importance of protecting the environment, the Group is considering ways to reduce its carbon footprint, such as recycling more of their materials and improving energy usage.

For further information on Fabricut's trade service go to www.fabricut.co.uk or telephone 0208 751 7250.

Design by Hinchliffeart.co.uk