Finally complete: The Beerguide Pub Board

I don’t usually rave about work I’ve done, I’m usually just content to say ‘Yep, I’m happy with that’. But now and again, as all artists/illustrators know, there’ll come a day every now and again when you finish a piece and think ‘Whoa, did I really do that?’ and then you’ll sit and stare at it for hours trying to figure out how you did it and why the hell can’t everything you do be that good?

And one such instance happened yesterday as I finally completed board one for The Noel’s Arms Freehouse in Melton Mowbray. I’d been looking into heraldry recently and marveling at the beautiful intricate, flowing designs of coats of arms and old-fashioned pub signs, so when the pub asked me to redesign their boards for this year, I thought it’d be a great opportunity to try it out. The logo for the pub is based on a shield anyway so the heraldry idea fitted in perfectly.The brief for the board was pretty small, mainly to promote the pub’s place in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide 2015 and having hops as the main focus of the design to promote the pub’s selection of real ale.

So after a creating a rough design and colour mock-up that were accepted on-the-spot, I received the first board and drew out the design. Two nearly solid weeks of painting later and I couldn’t be happier with the result. Nearly every inch of the board is filled with bold colours, the writing can be read from afar (importantly!) and the flowing design draws the eye around the board without getting lost in any one aspect. It’s like everything I ever tried to accomplish with a piece at university has suddenly all come together a year or so too late.

Never mind, the board is now expecting a coat or so of varnish from the landlord and landlady (who are thrilled with it) and it should be on the front wall of the pub very soon. And in the meantime, I can start on the second board. Think I might need today off though…

The gallery above shows the finished board, my initial planning and some close ups of details. Please feel free to NOT tell me about any mistakes I may have made/ any paint spots I’ve forgotten to cover/etc. !

Pub board progress – metallic typography


The original plan for the board was to have the text all in block white but after painting such a detailed border, it seemed a shame to make the text so flat. It’s been a long time since I last tried painting metal and I still have a lot to learn but I think this typography at least has turned out pretty well. I’ve still got to add in the reflections of the hops but I’m building up my courage to do that! I was hoping to finish the board today but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. Still I must be about 3/4 of the way through so not too much longer now.

Sneak peek of pub board progress

Finally got the painting underway! I always find there is an anxious pause before painting. I’ve spent the last few hours sketching out a design that looks good in line form, do I really want to run the risk of ruining it with a paintbrush? I think it’s a moment everyone shares, especially when they’re unsure of how something will turn out but we conquer it eventually and so far the board is looking pretty good! (At a distance… if you squint…)

What I’m HOPING the finished board will look like (but neater)! :

CAMRA beer board

Pub board design- colour mock up – Rugby

rugby world cup

Second of two board design for the Noels Arms Freehouse. As each board goes either side of the front door, I have made the board designs as similar as I can to each other without losing their individual themes. I’ll be collecting the boards tonight for painting over the next couple of weeks. It’s going to take a while!

In situ:

Rugby board:

rugby board

Beergide board:

Noel's Arms board



New front-of-house pub board designs

The Noels Arms Freehouse in Melton Mowbray has kindly asked me back to redecorate their front-of-house boards for 2015-16. Like last year’s boards, the themes are still ‘beer’ and ‘rugby’ but this years are to be a lot more text based. So here’s what I’ve come up with! Just got to whack some colours on in Photoshop and I’ll see if they like them!

2014’s signs:

Finished signs

What’s On – pub board design

What's on

I’m currently working on some designs to adorn the in-house boards at a local pub. Each board promotes different events, including quiz nights, darts matches and live music and I have the fun task of creating the border imagery! This is the initial design for the second board promoting the list of musical entertainment hosted by the pub. The ‘What’s On:’ typeface is influenced by a mix of the old Fraktur typefaces and the notes and symbols found in sheet music (something that I will not pretend to have any knowledge of whatsoever!). As usual, the design has 6 ‘strings’ running through it, a theme that seems to have grown to be an integral part of the designs to show the pub’s vast music base. In this case, one of the strings has morphed into a note-producing barley stalk, just to add a bit of real ale flavour in there!

Lagers, tigers and beer, beer, beer!

So here it is as promised! I’ve spent another brilliant day at The Noels Arm Freehouse creating the second sign to go front-of-house. The basis for this sign was to promote the pub as being Melton District CAMRA Pub of the Year, CAMRA being the ‘Campaign for Real Ale’ so a theme of beer and barley was in order.

This sign was amazing and nerve-wracking to create as I had to work depth and reflection into the beer glasses with a limited use of colours and no black other than the background of the board. Saying that, the finished effect works really well and I am very chuffed with it!

The best thing is that the owners are really happy and have asked me to do some signs for inside the pub as well. And they still want me to create their logo to go on the pub sign out-front! So back to sketching more ideas.