The Human Touch 

The shaping of a traditional signwriter...


From as early as I can remember, I've always had an interest in shapes and letters. During my school years I developed as a budding artist, but it was the Theatrical Showtime Posters and Funfair Art, which caught my imagination and consequently overall interest. 


At the age of thirteen, I had a chance meeting with a local signwriter, who took the time and trouble to introduce me to the variety of magical brushes used in producing eye catching showcard posters.


In between these formative lessons, I began entering local and National poster and art competitions, achieving successful results in the Woolworth's National Poster Competition and reaching the final of the Barnardos: Children of the Year Award, with host judge Tony Hart. 


I continued to develop my lettering skills to the point that my voluntary tutor felt he would have to pass the baton on to a higher level.  


On completion of my secondary education studies, I was selected for the BTEC, General Art and Design Course and the next two years was spent at Colchester Institute College, successfully completing the National Diploma Course, plus securing the prize for my diagnostic work, which had a signwriting orientation.

From here I took a years work study with a young model making company called Hothouse Models & Effects, who had just secured the contract to make three model cars for a new children's TV series. The series became National and TV rights were sold to the USA. The little car became 'BRUM' and I felt proud to have worked on all aspects of its fabrication, painting and signwriting the name 'BRUM'.


The next stage of my education advancement took me to Parkwood College, Sheffield, where I spent two happy years studying

every facet of the Signwriting profession. Parkwood was held in high esteem in the Sign Industry and the two years spent there gave me volumes of business and practical experience, culminating in attaining Distinctions for all aspects of my work, which led to me representing the college in the 1996 City and Guilds Medals for Excellence Silver Medal Category. During my time in

Sheffield, I also made a representation model of Clacton Pier, which featured on Fred's weather map as part of the Richard and 

Judy's 'This Morning' programme. 


I felt it necessary to share all this experience and my professional qualifications with everyone, so I simply called myself Signs by Matt. I am able to offer a full design, build and install service, providing businesses with branded signs and print whilst retaining my passion for traditional methods, encompassing my art and airbrush skills. My aim has been to provide high-class signs at affordable prices. 


I have a special artistic quality in being able to reproduce art to the customers' requirements and experience excitement and enthusiasm with every individual sign. 


With an expanding profession, presenting new challenges with every sign design, I feel I have found my own 'NIRVANA' with each sign and piece of art that I produce and it's and added bonus when customers compliment my work, no matter what size. 


By Tom Gunning ( Matt's Dad )