Skip to content

NGS case: Barbour new store Leadenhall Market – gilding in the absolute centre of London

April 14, 2013

This Post is all about Leadenhall Market’s new Barbour store sign gild by Nick Garrett Signwriting – NGS.

NGS case: Barbour new store Leadenhall Market – gilding in the absolute centre of London

History of the Market

The market dates back to the 14th century. Originally a meat, game and poultry market, it stands on what was the centre of Roman London.  A number of commercial retailers are also located in the market, including clothes shops and a pen shop , the newest being the Barbour shop, the subject of this article.


The ornate roof structure, painted green, maroon and cream, and cobbled floors of the current structure, designed in 1881 by Sir Horace Jones.

An early 20th century view of the market and actual site of our recent project beneath the colonnade, to right hand side

From 1990 to 1991 the market received a dramatic redecoration which transformed its appearance, enhancing its architectural character and detail. The redecoration scheme received a special mention in the Civic Trust Awards 1994. The market is a Grade II* Listed Building, being listed in 1972.


Leadenhall Market formed part of the marathon course of the 2012 Olympic Games.

NGS and the Barbour project – Unit 31 L Mk

Jigsaw is about to be painted out forever…

David Wong the director of the market was responsible for putting Andrew Gill of Active Interiors in touch with me regarding the re-paint and new gild of the 6 main fascia panels.

The deadline was fairly tight and after identifying the font style and forming up the layout in perfect space we arrived on site to commence work.


Above: NGS’s Jack Hollands making headway with his first application of gold leaf on oil size.

First task was to clean the fascia and rub down with wet dry the existing gilded lettering which read JIGSAW.


The first thing to note however was that the previous lettering had been vinyl stencilled and gilded and so we had no remorse in taking down this, as we saw it, the vinyl gilding was a complete waste of opportunity to beautify this Grade II buildings.

My intention was to make a series of stunning hand gilded sign panels for the client.

  • Undercoat existing lettering.
  • First coat and cut in to gilded numerals and coach-lining.
  • Second coat same

  • Gold Leaf Lettering
  • Shade

The Lettering

The font we grabbed from a previous photoshoot and formed the title firstly in Photoshop.  The typeface was redrawn to create certain anomalies and poetics such as slightly irregular serifs, shading spans and refinements to the ‘R’ character form.

The gold to be used was Handover’s, specifically pressed.

On start-up the very low working temperature made the 3 Hour Lefranc gold size slow going and difficult to get to open up and flow.

The first batch of gold leaf was rejected and returned for a freshly pressed batch of 23ct 6.75 ton pressure.

Once this problem was corrected the gilding went smoothly.

Shading;  The black Oneshot enamel shade was zipped on with a shorter haired writer size 5.


TM and facts

Work duration for 6 fascias 5.5 days – 2 artists.

Access double staged tower.

Tapes: Frog low tac and Leylands yellow sharp cut.

Enamels: Oneshot.

Tea: English Breakfast

Lunch: POD

Beer:  Youngs Bitter

No comments yet

Like this post? What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: