Post Morag Myerscough: Jon Burgerman creates colourful illustrations for Sheffield Children’s Hospital

Post Morag Myerscough: Jon Burgerman creates colourful illustrations 
for Sheffield Children’s Hospital

Jon Burgerman creates colourful illustrations for Sheffield Children’s Hospital

Burgerman is among artists commissioned by charity Artfelt to transform communal spaces in the hospital’s new wing, after Morag Myerscough redesigned its bedrooms in February.

by Jon Burgerman, photo © Jill Tate

Sheffield Children’s Hospital has been brightened up with illustrations created by artists including Jon Burgerman, which aim to “provide distraction” for young patients.

The project has been funded by Artfelt, the Children’s Hospital Charity’s arts programme, which commissioned Jon Burgerman, Thomas Burden and Andy J. Miller to redesign the interiors of the hospital’s new wing with illustrated characters.

The artists have transformed the waiting room, treatment rooms and plaster room, where patients go to have casts put on when they break bones.

Morag Myerscough transformed the in-patient bedrooms in February this year, photo © Jill Tate

This is the second phase of the hospital’s art project, which saw designer Morag Myerscough fill 46 ensuite bedrooms with colourful, geometric patterns earlier this year.

by Jon Burgerman, photo © Jill Tate

The plaster room now features “dozens of quirky and playful characters” illustrated by Burgerman, to create a “distracting and engaging space” for children, says the Children’s Hospital Charity. Burgerman hand-drew the illustrations with felt-tip, then scanned and coloured them in digitally.

by Thomas Burden, photo © Andy Brown

Miller worked on the treatment rooms, and Burden transformed the waiting area, creating a series of illustrations inspired by childhood toys using lenticular printing, which gives two-dimensional graphics depth and makes them look as if they are moving or changing.

Sean Nolan, orthopaedic practitioner at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, says the new designs have helped distract young patients when they are undergoing “difficult treatments” or “are in pain from injuries”.

by Andy J Miller, photo © Jill Tate

“All I have to do is ask them to find the cat with the slippers in its eyes, or the man made out of pizza, and they can forget about their treatment for a minute,” he says. “It has really transformed the space so we can provide the best possible care for our young patients.”

Cat Powell, manager at Artfelt, says that this redesign is part of a wider pursuit to “strip away notions” of hospitals as “clinical and cold spaces”.

“[The artists] have helped create a new part of the hospital where art is not an afterthought, but part of the very essence of the building,” she says.

Artfelt originally worked with the hospital’s new build team and practice Avanti Architects to create the new wing with this in mind, she adds.

Further work is planned on the hospital wing’s development, with Myerscough set to create more designs for the space in the future.

by Andy J Miller, photo © Jill Tate
by Jon Burgerman, photo © Jill Tate
by Thomas Burden, photo © Andy Brown
by Thomas Burden, photo © Andy Brown

The main Calligraphic Script styles

Styles of Script


In this article we will examine the various styles of pointed pen script and the sometimes confusing terminology that apply. The samples provided in the reference image should allow you to visually compare and contrast the different styles of script.

In the United States, the Copperplate style of script is a very popular form of pointed pen calligraphy. It adorns many of the wedding invitations that calligraphers are commissioned to pen.



The modern usage of the term Copperplate applies to several styles of shaded script. Therefore, we will use it as a starting point for this discussion.

Historically, Copperplate was the term applied to the English roundhand script so wonderfully represented in Bickham’s The Universal Penman. This monumental work displays the roundhand script from some of the finest historical English writing masters engraved for printing. Sample 1, originally penned by English writing master Joseph Champion, Sr. (1709-1765) was included in Bickham’s book.


Above: Ross F George Roundhand 1927.

The specimen illustrates the beautiful flowing shaded letterforms based on ovals that typify this style of script. It is ironic that English roundhand should start off a discussion on pointed pen script since it was not a pointed pen form. Instead it was executed using a quill pen.

Furthermore, we know from Bickham’s The Young Clerk’s Assistant that, contrary to popular belief, the quill was cut to a narrow broad edge and not sharply pointed. Yet these historic letterforms are the basis of the modern ‘Copperplate style’ of calligraphy.

The handwritten specimens of English roundhand were engraved for printing purposes onto a ‘copper plate’ by a master engraver. Hence, the eventual use of the term Copperplate for this form of script should not be hard to fathom.

Modern Copperplate instructional manuals emulate this quill pen style using a pointed flexible steel pen.

The earliest usage of the word ‘Copperplate’ applied to English roundhand that I have come across can be found in Sir Ambrose Heal’s monumental 1931 publication entitled, The English Writing-Masters and Their Copy-Books 1570-1800. Though usage of the term likely predates this publication. It should be noted that there were several variants of English roundhand script including a less ornate less shaded hand that was used for day-to-day correspondence.

Engrosser’s script

The next calligraphic style we will examine is Engrosser’s script. This form of script is similar in appearance to English roundhand; however, looks can be deceiving. Several historical terms correctly apply to the script shown in Sample 2 (penned by the author). These include Engrosser’s’ script, Engraver’s script and roundhand. Since this style of script was used extensively for the calligraphic embellishment of documents, known as ‘engrossing’, the term Engrosser’s script was applied. For the purpose of this discussion I will use the term Engrosser’s script when referring to this calligraphic style.

Engrossers Script

The progenitor hand for Engrosser’s script was the previously described English roundhand. For this reason, the term ’roundhand’ is sometimes used to describe this style. However, unlike traditional English roundhand, Engrosser’s script is not a form of handwriting. In fact, Engrosser’s script has been more accurately described as the equivalent of engraving on paper.

It developed as an attempt to simulate the exacting roundhand letterforms used by engravers. Hence, the term Engraver’s script was also used to describe this form of script. The oval-based letterforms are literally drawn using a pointed flexible steel nib such as the legendary Gillott 303 and a series of interrupted strokes that are loosely analogous to the ductus in text lettering.

Capital S

Consider that the capital ‘S’ seen in the word ‘Script’ (see Sample 2) was executed in four separate strokes. Therefore, a fundamental difference between traditional English roundhand (Copperplate) and Engrosser’s script rests in the execution of the letters, i.e. handwriting versus drawing, respectively.



Next, we come to a uniquely American form of cursive handwriting called Spencerian Script. Sample 3A, penned by Platt R. Spencer, Sr. is representative of this hand. Developed in the first half of the 19th century by PR Spencer, Sr. as a shaded form of cursive handwriting, it was based on the graceful ovals and curvatures he observed in nature. Of course, the name Spencerian derives from the originator of the hand, Spencer. The lowercase letters are typically delicate in appearance and less shaded than the forms of script previously mentioned. Prior to Spencer’s contribution, handwriting in America was based on an English roundhand style as typified in the American instructional books of the time like Jenkins’ The Art of Writing. The emergence of Spencerian script would usher in the ‘Golden Age’ of ornamental penmanship in the United States. This period would extend through the early portion of the 20th century.

Slikovni rezultat za spencerian script

Spencerian script, in its original form was executed with a quill pen. The eventual availability in the mid-late 1800’s of high quality steel pens together with the skill of properly trained penmen, both men and women, would lead to a further refinement of the basic hand by those who came after Spencer. A good example of this refinement can be seen in Sample 3B penned by master penman Earl A. Lupfer (1890-1974), former Principal of The Zanerian College. There were several forms of Spencerian script including more ornate styles, a delicate ‘ladies’ hand, a more rapid monoline style as well as others.

Ornamental Script

Eventually, the artistic ability of the penman together with high quality steel nibs like the legendary Gillott Principality, the development of the oblique penholder, smoother papers and legendary ink formulations such as Arnold’s Writing fluid would combine to embellish the basic Spencerian letterforms into a dramatic variant called Ornamental Script. A wonderful example of this script, penned by master penman HP Behrensmeyer (1868-1948) is shown in Sample 4.

Ornamental script can be thought of as a stylized form of Spencerian script. Added to the basic Spencerian letterforms are beautiful swirls and curls that followed rules of symmetry along with dramatic shades opposing almost invisible hairlines.

Is it or is it not handwriting? The short answer to that question is ‘yes’ it is still handwriting. However, Ornamental script represents a Spencerian form that floats gracefully between the realms of handwriting and art. Hence, the term ‘Artistic’ writing

was also used to describe this hand. It is interesting to note that Spencerian script and Ornamental penmanship are undergoing something of a renaissance due primarily to the efforts of master penman Michael R. Sull. The script has even found a foothold in England due to the efforts of master penman Brian Walker.

The various styles of script were not always used exclusively of each other. In fact, it was a common practice to use Spencerian/Ornamental capital letters in combination with Engrosser’s script lowercase letterforms to great advantage. This makes it difficult to classify specimens from past masters into neat categories.

The final style we will examine is Business penmanship, also called plain penmanship. It is should be noted that both English roundhand and Spencerian script were successfully employed business hands. However, the style we will be focusing on was developed in the late 1800’s for teaching in business colleges and eventually in grade schools. Sample 5, penned by master penman EC Mills (1872-1962), is a fine example of this monoline cursive hand. Business penmanship is essentially a non-shaded form of cursive handwriting that evolved after the development of Spencerian script.

Since the style did not require shading, a flexible pen was not needed. Modern practitioners of the hand can easily use either a fountain pen or a ballpoint pen to equal effectiveness. I am certain that many calligraphers will remember being taught a version of plain penmanship such as The Palmer Method or the Zaner-Bloser Method of writing in school.

Hopefully, you should now have a better idea of the basic styles of pointed pen script and the terminology used to describe them. In the next installment we will examine the implements used for shaded script in the Copperplate style. Specifically, the oblique penholder/pointed flexible steel nib and the reasons why they are useful for shaded script styles.


Diploma in Traditional Signwriting NGS London

Course Curriculum

Start Date April 17, 2017 and consecutively each month thereafter.

Crafts, creative arts and design

Level 04 – 5 Learning Modules (Foundation Diploma Studies)

Start up dates – geared to your choices

The Start up date is the first Monday of the month. Courses will roll flexistudy from that point. Ideal completion time is 12-18 months.

Assessments take place at mid and endpoint of each unit.


Units comprise of 110-140 hrs for completion. Total hours 460-520

Assessment criteria

Coursework and learning interaction account for the majority of progress assessment.

Tutorials serve as crucial learning reference points, external project completion and skills progress checks.

Learning summaries

Written components aim to clarify the learning and exploration of each unit from historical to practical and new field work perspectives. 

Thesis – 2500 words. 5x Learning summaries 500 words.



Coursework comprises of Units 1-5.

Assessments are ongoing, appraisal based and subject to 3 external verification processes. 

Unit 1 

  • Induction day: Presentation & orientation
  • Professional practice introduction: How, Why..
  • How to price work
  • TM and QC awareness
  • Kit and Equipment: DEVELOPMENT & MAINTENANCE
  • Health and Safety
  • Group Crit
  • Access equipment use
  • Surface & Preparation: Wood, Masonry, Glass
  • Basic practice: 8 strokes of shape construction
  • Advanced stroke practice and corner forming skills
  • Water based and oil basic enamel use.
  • Colour tinting.

20 Pts Completion of Segment

110-140 hrs

Studio practice 50 hrs

Unit 2 – Block lettering

History of sans serif letters. Essay Learning review

  • Block letter practice: Drawing and structure of 3 key styles
  • Spacing
  • Bold block lettering
  • Condensed block lettering
  • Lowercase block lettering 2 styles
  • Group Crit
  • Shading
  • Review essay.
  • Presentation
  • Tutorial

20 Pts Completion of Segment Part 1.2

110-140 hrs

Studio practice 50 hrs

Unit 3

  • Serif lettering
  • History of Romans and Venetian serif ‘filleti’
  • 4 styles: Trajan Roman, Traditional London, Venetian, Egyptians
  • Practice and Composition
  • Group Crit
  • Review essay
  • Cursive Lettering
  • History of Cursivo and Italics
  • Key Strokes
  • 3 styles: Calligraphic, Signwriters, and Italian
  • Practice and Composition
  • Review essay
  • Presentation
  • Tutorial

20 Pts Completion of Segment

110-140 hrs

Studio practice 50 hrs

Unit  4


  • Working freehand
  • Design thinking – input
  • Design, Font design and CAD 
  • Photoshop
  • Marketing
  • Designing the Brand icon
  • Production methods
  • Tutorial – Final Editions

20 Pts Completion of Segment

110-140 hrs

Unit  5

Design and Delivery

  • Project Management
    • Group Crit
    • Industry entry
    • Presentation and client handling
    • Business plan and finances
    • How to price work – Review from Unit 1
    • Marketing and future trend
  • Final Exhibition

20 Pts Completion of Segment

110-140 hrs

Studio practice 50 hrs


Crafts, creative arts and design NVQ Level 4

5 Modules 100 pts Total

Learn Easy

Course structure is flexible. Start times, continuation points and close off are set at commencement are are open to renegotiation onward of start-up subject to course leader guidance and approval.

Students who have completed 1 week course with NGS may be eligible for assessment or recommencement. Tutor will advise on level and practical attainment in order to re-join practice at appropriate point.


Public Holiday

Upcoming bank holidays in England and Wales

14 April Friday Good Friday
17 April Monday Easter Monday
1 May Monday Early May bank holiday
29 May Monday Spring bank holiday
28 August Monday Summer bank holiday
25 December Monday Christmas Day
26 December Tuesday Boxing Day
1 January Monday New Year’s Day
30 March Friday Good Friday
2 April Monday Easter Monday
7 May Monday Early May bank holiday
28 May Monday Spring bank holiday
27 August Monday Summer bank holiday
25 December Tuesday Christmas Day
26 December Wednesday Boxing Day

If a bank holiday is on a weekend, a ‘substitute’ weekday becomes a bank holiday, normally the following Monday.

  • Monday 1 January 2019 is a Bank Holiday
  • Easter weekend is Friday 19 April to Monday 22 April 2019
  • May Day Bank Holiday is Monday 6 May 2019
  • Spring Bank Holiday is Monday 27 May 2019


About NGS The revival of Signwriting   Fees Student finance  Contact us CONTACT US

The Sign Consultancy – Bespoke advanced signage

We have advanced our bespoke range of signage to include new innovative surface and material applications.  Lettering need never be the same again!

Venetian etched glass signage interior glass panels NGS

These include glass crafted letters,  3D printing, verre eglomise surfaces, perma chalk designs, bespoke applications and new corporate ID signage.


Paul Lawn –  A specialist in architectural applications and project procurement.  Working in close association since the early 80s now hooking up with NGS design on branding and a host of creative lettering expressions.


Chloe Andrea Garrett –  Has the fresh slick knack with finding the spirit of the look… a super stylist crafting client Identity and product essence out of her Australian base.


Nick Garrett –   typographic product design ID


Built-up Bespoke Metal Letters

Beautifully constructed letters and logos with fully hand blended edges

Meticulously crafted, our Bespoke metal built up letters are created in an array of styles and materials to deliver superior quality branding at a price far less expensive than our customers ever expect.

Sensuous craftsmanship – Bespoke Letters

The fully blended edges of bespoke steel letters produce a flawless finish that’s completely smooth to the touch. In the painstaking production process the soldered edge, where the letter face meets the return, is first filed and then highly polished. This method creates a continuous soldered seam which eliminates all sharp points to create a sleek finish which typifies the superior quality of our bespoke letters.

Custom build

Letters and logos are possible at just 50mm in height, with 6mm returns and stroke widths as narrow as 3mm. Created in stainless steel, copper, brass and titanium, finishes include satin, polished, painted and bead blasted effects along with dark and light oxidised brass and copper, copper verdigris and non directional copper and brass.


Halo illumination can be added from a range of LED modules and for exterior applications, gold titanium offers an appealing alternative to brass whilst bronze titanium provides an alternative to copper.

The letters are particularly effective when used for eye level signage as seen in the receptions of law firms and architectural practices where the detailing of the letters can be appreciated.

For further information on Built-up Letters – Premium Metal or any other product please get in touch.



Heritage and Tomorrow – Gallery of works and Inspiration

Custom Graphics and Prints

Covent Gdn Ghost sign NGS

Aged letter inspiration for our custom printing and hand lettering

Below:  Classical Venetian Verre EglomiseVenetian Verre Eglomise, distressed mirroringPrinted lettersYellow band zag Box Gym by NGS London

Interior Graphic wall decor at Box Gym

Urban mirror silvered lettering

Mirrored lettering with urban scrape detail Nick Garrett Signs

Classic fairground replica letters

custom_fairground_lettersNo7 temple1

Brand ID concept and designT&G 3D gold copyLondon Shop signs London Shop signs

Wraps and prints

POD old hand Sand Poetica signwriting NGS Custom printingSignwriting in Notting Hill Nick Garrett NGS Creative signwriters

Foliage mural for new brand ID
Foliage mural Strutt and Parker

Signwriting POD Nick Garrett NGS Creative signwriters


new innovative signage


 Our Heritage Gallery




New Graphic ID



LCB Chalk Board Inspiration with NGS’s Chloe and Nick

Uber Chalks!

NGS Chalk Boards - Cafe's Bars Pubs

Ideas n Inspiration for the Biz and Home

Here are a few styles to choose from and a link to our Pinterest Inspiration boards

Penned Barrel motif

Retro styles

Cafe-Chiswick-NGSDesigner hand

All work is made by hand – clients include all creatures great and small.

blackboard signwriter, blackboard sign writer, blackboard sign writer, blackboard artist, children’s murals


Retro and fresh modernFun panelsMalts

Chalk penned BarrelsLondon Chalk Co -3

Chalk board writing

Call us today


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2015.. Skilling IT! Learn Sign Painting in London. February weekend workshops NGS

Rad Trad!

Desight for kudobadass typography, Product/Brand design, painted signs NGS London

Learn to Paint letters! NGS Signsmith workshops are rolling out Jan and Feb. Stoppress January 10 – 11 and February 21 – 22 classes are booking. Grab your easel and book a place on the day. Discounts for Students.
Have a great Skilling it! New Year. Nick.

Today the new tradition signpainting is all about keeping it alive and learning the skills on an immediate basis… we share all the vocational skillsets and get people on an expanded career path from day 1.  On the day it’s focused and immensely rewarding.

Nick Garrett

Full Course Information

For your copy apply to us ngsfwt@outlook.comPainted letters day with Nick Garrett

NGS Painted Letters … London Railway Blocks, Finest Roman Classics, Culty Retro, Wharf Grunge


9.30 – 5.30 


@ 140 Sydenham Road London SE265JZ

– all levels – all materials and food inc

Start-up your Pro geared Lettering Skills

This is the course has all the insight to get you into the zone.  A…

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A New age of graphic ID

Desight for kudobadass typography, Product/Brand design, painted signs NGS London

On the back of painting reams of letters over the past 3 years something new has to happen.

It is not enough to simply claim to go further and add this and that as a jump up on the next competitor. That is not innovation – it is simply a jostling for a slither of note over the nearest competitor.

Innovation is at large in the few.

Truly emerging innovation is a felt glimmer being dragged across the horizon…

So what is the next true wave of inspiration likely to look like?

It has to first allow itself the divine right to exist as something entirely new.

This could be new by approach, feel, sensibility.

My own sense is that this is entirely linked to ones ability to find a sensuous magic in whatever is on the table for product development or ID.

The new approach owes much to empathy and…

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Range of marks, tattoo and signwriting styles. NGS London

Range of marks, tattoo and signwriting styles.

Q tips Signs by NGS

Across London today there is a fabulous groundswell of analogue design activity placing signwriting where it once stood as an important infographic transmitter and pure design led solution.

There is no more versatile a tool than a master signwriter and his brush.  Well actually that’s the paradigm shift right there because a host of master signwriters, including myself are now training young art grads and creatives to take up the noble craft like never before.

NGS aims to train start-ups and link them up with projects, taking the lettering itself to a more refined level.  Fueling this are a host of exciting design trends and opportunities opening up new avenues of creative expression and work experience.  At the heart of this New Generation of Signwriting is a greater understanding of quality and detail, ramped up in an age of unique online business marketing.

I guess after 10 years as pubs sign gilder I embarked on a parallel career in product design in order to develop my pure design ability further. Working for the best as senior designer for Laura Ashley or Designers Guild, head of design for China Accent Hong Kong I believed in creating icons, not just beautiful products – I dreamt it, built it and shared it with my 35 strong design team staff. Staying at number one in the world (with these producers) was and is down to working incredibly hard at the most difficult areas of skillsets, having a dream and owning it. So it’s mainly mechanical, long hours and stubborn determination.

For myself the word detail holds the key to success across many meanings, practices and expressions.

Detailing encompasses a gamut of skill sets. For instance identifying nuances and emotional beauty of a particular historic piece, emulating a previous artists hand or revealing a completely new bespoke design detail from talent and hard yakka.

The range of detailing is an incredibly complex and yet wonderfully simple, attentive process. It is thought about a great deal, and like many traditional products, aged and decanted. When that entire creative process is repeated and strengthened over the years it becomes ingrained in a very special way.

At NGS the current styles of signwriting fall into several new categories:

  • Grunge
  • Retro
  • Vintage
  • Classic
  • Graphic Minimalist
  • Corp
  • Combined
  • By Eye


Finished panel 002 high five signs NGS

As a decorative artist, I have developed over the decades some acclaimed paint effects and grunge distressed finishes for Designers Guild UK.  These work perfectly with new era urban grunge lettering (Ghost Signs) and decayed effects – so it is possible to paint it on and peel it off for, as we say… a badass sign!!

Restoration Vintage

The Lamb NGS antique white signwritten pub London

Alongside that fantastic range of marks sits a style which owes everything to my furniture restoration experience.

Since 1990 I have had a love affair with either restoration or design of furniture.  This passion became a twin trade for me for 25 years.  I still restore, create and build furniture today in my Italian home studio.


Tattoo detail Love Hate Social club London new sign by NGS The George Tavern London Signwriter Nick Garrett NGS 3

Includes this restoration approach and my passion for original iconic lettering.

At the heart of this range is the London Transport regional Victorian fonts and Italian Romans; in particular Florentine gilding and Parma’s Bodoni Roman.


The lettering I use for this collection are traced from the original hands, off carvings, off the walls in London and Italy or off the very peeling fascias I restore.  So they are as original as I can get ’em.

They are not normally from books and simple downloads.

Sempre originale… e sempre tradizionale

These are then either learned and painted by mind’s eye or from original hand traced pencil layouts.

I then (in some instances) add my own hand with the greatest respect to the original.  Just as the original artist would have developed his own pieces. Because as beautiful as they are, the classically trained orginator would have said… ”it could have been better”.

The final piece has an unequaled richness.

Graphic Minimalist

wall decorative fonts ngs london signman 3

Reflects the designs passed to me from the new crew of sensational graphic designers across London.

It is a pleasure working closely with these guys and quite often training them in my Signsmith workshops.

These designs are then painted, above the line and perfect to the original.  But there will always be that little moment where I help make it fly.


So it is never the case that this art remains static.  One way my practice has grown and changed is seen in the new workshops I hold training a new generation of Signsmiths.

1534995_715654881789112_2085898945611053953_n1609991_715654905122443_3641466967639221041_n (1)

For your copy apply to us

Every time I roll across town to create lettering, I go with a sense of pride, anticipation and excitement. Because I know the day I don’t feel that passion, will be the day to lay down my brushes.

That is in part an insight into my creative process.

Of the Times

Double coating lettering on glass Nick Garrett London

For the client these seeds sink into the new sign an action not necessarily measurable… but it becomes a garden that will help us all grow, flower and prosper. I can assure any client that this is a matter of seeing and believing.

Today once again Signwriting is alive… (what a joy) let’s keep it that beautiful way.

Nick Garrett


NGS Website


Sign work in London and UK

Started up 19 10 14 aiming to provide easy work for hard working creatives

SignWorks UK for free biding and project tender

Started up 19 10 14 aiming to provide easy work for hard working creatives

SignWorks provide an active list of projects daily – these are normally needed to be responded to quickly by sign makers and registrants.

Registering is currently free.

Once registered browse the list you can contact us via reply/comments or via the form.
We have the support and knowledge to roll through the work.

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