Writing numerals needs a fair bit of consideration – it’s a tight mix of typeface design, craft and architectural art.
For this double pillar set above (Nos. 22 and 24 Cranley Gardens), which adorn a 9 million pound hotel, my sable brush and little pot of black paint had to reflect that value.
I first needed to establish the perfect match in style, sizing and position and immediately set off down Cranley Gdns with tape measure in hand. Fairly straight forward I hear you say… nah… every number and every height setting was different on each set of pillars.
Measuring the heights, from deck of immediate neighbours Nos 2o and 26 I found whopping 20mm difference in numeral height positioning – I decided on placing 22 in the balanced mean between the two differentials of c51” H and that of No.26 which was an inch and a half higher.
By sight I judged it about right at 51.5” for No. 22 and 51.75” for No24.
The font sizes and Roman hand written styling also varied considerably up and down the street as they were all written by different hands over the past 30-75 years or so.
This handsome, elegant, set I made (shown above) was traced from 2 neighbouring lettered pillars – tweaked around the serif cascades and glyph contours, making them my own: distinctive, classic, yet beautifully modern characters.
In the end I measured every pillar numeral on Cranley Gardens in order to know with full certainty, my final measure is not by ruler but by integrity.
Not only do we writers have to craft up a fine letter (often on a rough surface) but we need to marry them to the era, feeling and style of their neighbours.
It was incredibly nostalgic sharing the platform of decades of West London’s finest writers who’s work and legacy surrounded me as I wrote.
Restoring original fonts numerals
NGS made the sketch and final artwork in Photoshop, for this nice gilded restoration numeral in Muswell Hill, London.
Gothic Sans serif – Dishoom Shoreditch
Classic cafe – TAPPED & PACKED. LTD.
193 Wardour Street Soho London W1
Contemporary fonts – Ampersand hotel 10 Layout
ENTER OUR FINE LONDON NUMERAL GALLERY
If you need a fine numeral, you’ve got my number…
Best, Nick Garrett 07951509238