Civil Defence Brockhouse trailer

Signwriting and hand painted number plates by Arne Barker

Here is a showcase of signwriting by Arne, he doesn’t use much artistic flair for these hand painted number plates, just a technical representation of each hand-painted signwritten character.

If you appreciate classic Land-Rovers, then we have a feast for you. These Series One Landies are from 1949 through to 1958, plus there are also a couple of wonderfully restored early motorcycles and Brockhouse trailers.

Click on any image for a slide show. You can find additional information about hand painted number-plates at the foot of the page, and [here] is a link to a few videos of Arne with his brushes. Please note that all number-plates are supplied as classic vehicle ‘Show Plates’.

More information

In the UK, modern registration plates use the Charles Wright font, and each character should be 3⅛ inch high. While the older, now classic vehicles were 3½ inches high, considerably larger. Pre ~1960, whenever a Dealership sold a new vehicle, and a pair of hand-painted number-plates were supplied; the choice of font or style was the preference of the local signwriter, so long as he followed the basic rules of size and spacing etc. Unfortunately there is no current font that matches what was used in the 40 and 50’s. So Arne created his own derivative of the early font or style that was used by the famed “Ace” number-plate manufacturer from the 1950’s. Each character is 3½ inches high by 2½ inches wide, with the correct spacing and borders. Interestingly, when studying the top serif of the number One (1), and the drop line of the letter G, research on these shows that these details were either included (serif) or omitted (sans serif), this decision was down to the signwriter. Arne normally includes the serif on the number One (1 rather than l). Motorcycles use a scaled-down version as their plates are normally smaller.

Work in progress

Some of these images show the work-in-progress with the different letter/number layouts on the black plates, along with Arne’s painting process. Once completed, all lettering is protected with a coat of exterior grade varnish.
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