What is a Sign Writer?

Signwriting these days is usually done by a computer-driven signwriting company.   However, some clients still prefer a traditional Sign Writer.

A traditional Sign Writer will paint by hand the sign (logos and lettering) where required. 

A Sign Writer is skilled enough to be able to manipulate (change) type to fit around and over poles, gutters or areas of buildings that jut out but when you read the sign from a distance it reads perfectly.  They may not have painted the sign flat but the illusion they create will read like it’s flat.

A Sign Writer will have to understand and be able to work in perspective.  Mathematics and the ability to do technical drawing would be an added advantage.

What does a Sign Writer do?

  • discussing brief with client
  • drawing up ideas for client
  • working out the correct perspectives or tricks needed to make sign look good
  • enlarging drawings either as a template or straight onto the space the sign will be painted
  • checking for spelling mistakes!
  • painting the sign neatly and carefully
  • working on ladders or hanging from harnesses off the side of buildings etc

Are you … ?

  • creative?
  • good with your hands?
  • able to work in perspective?
  • technically aware?
  • a good drawer?
  • a person who likes to work with letters?
  • able to work on scaffolding and ladders?
  • good with colour?
  • detail orientated?

How do I become a Sign Writer?

Because this career has almost been overtaken by computers, you will have to train under someone who is already a professional Sign Writer.  By working with and next to them, they may be able to pass on the tricks and skills of the trade to you.

Most Signwriters, these days work for sign making companies.

The ‘new’ Signwriter usually has a design background and can design signs on computers. 

Other signwriters take the design and then physically make the sign.  These signwriters are sign-makers and usually have a background in carpentry, vinyl cutting and or/welding.  The more varied your skills – the easier the job market will be.


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER:  Graphic Designer and Display Artist

Is becoming a Sign Writer the right career choice for me?

See below for more info.