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Wrights of Lymm

Man beating gold with a hammer Examples of traditional signwriting. The Gloriana (boat) for The Queen’s Jubilee
How long has Wrights of Lymm been selling traditional signwriting materials?

Wrights of Lymm Ltd was established in 1840 and has been manufacturing gold leaf and supplying sundries to the traditional signwriting trade for over 170 years.

Which types of brushes have you found traditional signwriters prefer to work with?

In our experience,traditional signwriters prefer to use pure sable brushes in either chisel or pointed form due to the softness and bounce or snap in the hair. They are also great for holding the paint, which allows the artist to create some wonderful lettering. If looked after correctly, these brushes will last for many years. After cleaning, it is important to apply neatsfoot oil or Vaseline, as this will help conserve the hair. These brushes are still made by hand in the UK.

And which paints are generally the most popular?

The paints most commonly used are oil based signwriting enamels, which are available in an array of colours but are also inter mixable allowing you to create your own shades. We supply two different types of enamels. Our own brand, manufactured here in the UK, is called Wright-it. This is a collection of colours that have been replicated from what once were Keeps’ colours, manufactured by J W Bollom. Bolloms were a long standing paint manufacturer here in the UK, well known within the signwriting trade due to their great range of traditional colours, but unfortunately due to a fire in their factory some years ago, they sadly never managed to get back on their feet, so Wrights of Lymm felt it very important to still be able to supply to the trade with these much sort after colours. We also supply One Shot Enamels; again these are very popular in the signwriting industry and are imported from the USA.

When might traditional signwriting be used and, in your opinion, what makes it special?

Although many signwriting jobs are now done by vinyl, there are still a fair few traditional signwriters in the trade. You can still see many pub signs, gypsy caravans and plenty of glass signage, for example, done in the traditional way. We believe it is undoubtedly far superior to the vinyl alternative as the signature of each individual craftsman is presented, highlighting the works’ originality and uniqueness. Traditional signwriters have a great artistic talent as everything is done by hand; many of them also do gilding, adding gold leaf to many of their pieces of work, especially on glass signage and traditional pub signs. It takes great patience… and a steady hand!


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