Gold Leaf House Signs

If you’ve browsed our website www.cloversigns.co.uk, you may have noticed we use lots of gold to make the signs. Gold is such a fantastic material for sign making, it’s amazing that so many people are fooled into buying brass signs.

Gold will never tarnish! Brass will.
Gold leaf looks like gold. Gold paint looks horrible.

We use extra thick 23.5 carat gold.

Gold also lasts a very long time, reflects more light than any other element and looks fantastic on black.

I am going to write more about using gold leaf to gild in a future post, but for now here is a picture of a gold leaf house sign:

Gold Leaf House Signs Image

If you want house signs, or specifically a gilded house sign, get in touch with us, from the “About Us” page

Fixing the Back Button in Lightbox

Our main website makes full use of the excellent lightbox.js script first published by Lokesh Dhakar . When I first saw the script, I knew it was the answer to the problem of how to display image galleries without Flash or Pop ups.

There is one HUGE problem with the original scripts you will find all over the web. There has been many mods to the script to make it lighter etc, but in all cases, the back button breaks! This is a terrible thing to do.

Hence we decided to set about fixing it. You can see that the back button will work on the custom signs page, but will break on Lokesh’s original demo pages. We needed to make the back button close the lightbox, not take you to the previous page.

Here is the solution:

UPDATE: I have now made a homepage for this called BackBox.  You will find all you need there.
This implementation should fix the back button in all modern browsers, leaving you with a cool, usable, standard compliant lightbox!

House Signs in the Philippines

Clover Signs has now started making signs for the international market. High Density Urethane Signs hold up very well to extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain and high UV levels.

Someone wanted a sign for their house in the Philippines, so this is what we designed and made:

House Signs in the Philipines Image

The sign features carved and gilded letters on a black background. We only use real gold as it outlasts and outlooks any paint you can buy. The palm tree is sculpted and the flags hand painted. The sign is made out of High Density Urethane and has hidden aluminum mounting brackets.

This sign was shipped to a UK address, but we can ship internationally for about £20.00 extra.

4 Essential Firefox Extensions for Designers and Developers

I develop my websites in Firefox (of course) and use 4 extensions heavily. In fact – now I have them, I can’t do without them.

1. Web Developer (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/60)
This is possibly the best tool I have ever seen for website design and development. The ability to turn scripts on or off, disable cookies, examine CSS etc.  Where would I be without it?

2. Firebug (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1843)
I have to admit, that since I installed Firebug, I have used some features in Web Developer less. The best feature is the ability to see how fast your site is downloading – and which scripts/images etc are causing hang-ups.

3. IE View Lite (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1429)
Because I develop in Firefox, I have to keep checking how it looks in Internet Explorer – because Microsoft still can’t… (I’m sure you know the rest)

4. Html Validator (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/249)
Quick and easy validator to make sure your code is good. Valid Html is not everything, but it’s amazing how much time you can save when it comes to fixing problems when you have good code.

Hopefully you find these extensions useful. It certainly speeds up my design and development.

Use Photoshop to Create Carved Text

We often get asked how me make the “carved and gilded” text look on the free sign proofs we make. Well, here is a short tutorial on how it’s done using Photoshop CS.

1.Start with plain type on a dark surface

Photoshop Letters Image

2. Select the text and border (the area to be carved and gilded) using the magic wand tool. Make a new layer from the selection using Layer>New>Layer via Copy.

3. In the layers palette, double click on the new layer to open it. Click on the “Bevel and Emboss” button.

4. Change the settings as follows:

Photoshop Screenshot

You can click the image above to see it bigger – so you can read the settings. The colour of the “Highlight Mode” is white, the shadow mode is “#4E500A”.

5. Click “Colour Overlay” and set the colour to “CC9900”.

6. Click “OK” and you should have a carved and gilded sign. You may have to fiddle with the colours to make it look right on your PC. Here is what you should be left with:

screenshot2.jpg

Hopefully this works for you.

500 House Signs!

When we first started making enquiries in the house sign market, no sign makers would tell us how many orders they get. I don’t see the point in hiding this sort of information – on the 18th of May, 2007, we made our 500th sign this year!

Bee Hive House Sign Image

Here’s a picture. Carved palladium letters on a black sign with sculpted bee hive and bees. It was a custom sign request.

Where can I buy HDU?

Many people want to know where we buy High Density Urethane (HDU) from. We used to import it from the USA, but that was a bit expensive. After a little research we found an Italian company who makes it. They call it Corafoam – and it’s fantastic!

The company is called DUNA-Corradini and you can see their website here: www.dunagroup.com

You have to buy quite a large quantity to make it worthwhile, so if you want a small piece you can ask Clover Signs – and they might let you have some.