See You Over There!

This blog has been in operation – off and on – since June 2007, and much has been written in that time. The vast majority of the one-hundred-and-sixteen posts were written by the staff of Clover Signs, a no-longer-in-operation sign shop in London. Later, the blog sat untouched from 2008 until this year, when we at Danthonia Designs decided to continue writing interesting articles relating to the craft of dimensional sign-making, and other related topics.

However, it wasn’t long before we realised that the name discrepancy was a little confusing (Why is “Clover Signs Blog” about Danthonia Designs?). So, we’ve decided to make life simple, say goodbye to this this blog, and continue publishing articles on our own website:

Of course, we’ll leave this one here as an archive, so people can still read about the halcyon days when Clover Signs sold their five-hundredth sign, or exchanged a sign for a piece of cake, or figured out a hack to fix the back button in Lightbox.

So, my friends, see you over there!

From Russia, with Love

From time to time I check Google Analytics, to see where our website visitors are coming from. Recently, I was surprised to see a certain number coming off of the Russian-language Wikipedia site. Sure enough, in the references at the bottom of an article entitled Numeratsiya domov was a link to The History of House Names on How flattering!

Russian Wikipedia Page

Russian Wikipedia Page with a Reference to our Article on House Names. It’s been there since February.

I’d just like to say a big “spasibo” (Thank you) to whoever added that link. But, as David Airey pointed out when Wikipedia linked to his site,

It would’ve been an even better surprise if Wikipedia were to remove rel=”nofollow” from their links. Then I might get a little boost in web ranking. It’s for that reason, that whenever I link through to a Wikipedia page I’m sure to add rel=”nofollow” in the link code, so I don’t give out needless external links.

I believe I’ll follow David’s example.

And now, you’re probably itching to know what the Russian article was about. The English version (without a link to us) is entitled House Numbering. It’s actually a very interesting piece and it even includes the iconic “9” from West 57th Street, Manhattan, designed by Ivan Chermayeff:

A distinctive red number "9," a two-ton sculpture designed by Ivan Chermayeff

A distinctive red number “9,” a two-ton sculpture designed by Ivan Chermayeff

A Growing Awareness of Signs & Type

“Signs are way-finding systems, but they are not just about navigation; they are about how we understand the environment. Signage is a component in our visual landscape, in the same way that architecture is, and industrial design. They are all parts of a very large system of how we read space and how we see ourselves.”

– Stephen Banham, Letterbox Design Studio

When signs make the news, it’s normally in an incidental sort of way – like when a truck hits one. Signage is everywhere but it is so omnipresent that most people hardly notice it. Of course, we signmakers are constantly stopping to inspect a fine hand-lettered specimen or a set of beautifully decaying metal letters – This habit sometimes annoys our friends – but for the unwashed masses, signs are occasionally read and very rarely admired.

However, there seems to be a gradual shift towards greater awareness of signage and typography. Recently, I saw an article entitled “Signposts point to a Font of Knowledge”, not in Signcraft Magazine, but in a mainstream newspaper (The Australian), interviewing Stephen Banham and Nadine Chahine about signs and type in Melbourne. Known as Australia’s “Cultural Capital”, Melbourne has probably a higher level of design awareness than most cities. After all, it even has a café named after a typeface (Helvetica). But the growing number of type- and signage-related websites and blogs reveal that signs are starting to be regarded as an art form (rather than just boring, functional “information boards”) in every quarter, not just the Garden City.

After all, we can’t let Melbourne have all the fun! Here’s a few pictures of classic metal letters (of which this area has a rich tradition), all within three minute’s walk of our shop:

Wrought Iron Gate Letters

A Gate on Brae Street

Metal Letters on a Gate

Metal numerals slowly shedding their paint

Wrought Iron Lettering

And finally, the pièce de résistance, a wrought iron gem on Wade Street. Once rectangular, this sign has now developed a stylish curve. I’ll admit, I flipped this image, so I could capture the sunset light behind, without mirror-writing.


Another milestone: 3,000 Signs!

We are proud to announce that Clover Signs has now made over 3,000 signs since our opening in December 2006.  The Clover Signs team would like to thank all our customers for their business which has enabled us to reach this milestone.   Special thanks to those customers that have come back repeatedly to order additional signs for their business or property.

So who bought our 3,000th sign?  It went to the Greenbank Bed and Breakfast which is beautifully situated in the village of Bowerchalke.  The village lies within a conservation area designated as an area of “outstanding natural beauty”.  I’ve never been there but having looked at their website,, I’m sure it would prove to be very rewarding.

Here is the sign already installed!

Green Bank B&B Sign

Greenbank B & B – new sign

And here is the sign it replaced! Yes it’s there, in the bottom right hand corner.

Old Sign

Old Sign

We would love to have you become one of our valued customers.

Post Signs and Free Standing Signs

Our hanging signs and free standing signs are becoming more and more popular, as our customers realize the benefit of sourcing custom metal work from the same supplier as their hand crafted signage.   These signs are ideal for the end of long driveways, providing a quality welcome statement to your property.   As you can see in the photo below they can also be ordered with mountings for a hanging flower basket to give it that added touch.

Post Sign with Flower Basket

Post Sign with Flower Basket
Free Standing Entrance Sign

Free Standing Entrance Sign

Backdrop Gherkin

Here is another business sign we did recently.  We don’t usually do installations but since this one was just down the road and  in the heart of downtown London we decided to do it ourselves to be sure it was done right.  At first glance the sign might not look that big.  In fact is is 2.85 meters long and 66 cm wide.  A little bigger than your normal house sign!  You might just be able to see that it has two joints inside the A’s at both ends but that sure does not distract from the effect of the sign.  Here are some before and after shots, unfortunately it was raining so the photos are not the best.

Anokha Old

Previous Sign

New Sign

New Sign
New Hanging Sign

New Hanging Sign

If you are ever in the area you might be interested in a meal at the Anokha Indian Bar & Restaurant.  If you are here because of your interest in signs visit our website to place an inquiry and see more of our work.

Good news for B&B’s

For most people the present economic crisis spells bad times but with the Bed and Breakfast trade that does not seem to be the case.   With the recent credit crunch more and more people are finding that going abroad is beyond their means and they are looking at the cheaper alternative of going on holiday closer to home.  This means more business for Bed and Breakfasts and more and more people are looking at the option of starting a B&B to make a little extra money.  At  Clover Signs we are glad for the increase in enquiries into  Bed and Breakfast Signs.  They are simpler than most business signs because often they hang outside a private residence and serve as a house sign as well.  The example below demonstrates this.

Detachable B&B sign.

The sub sign is attached using quick links and can be removed during the winter months or when you no longer wish advertise your B&B to passers by. Also perfect for hotels.