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A truly magical year for the British Sign Industry

A truly magical year for the British Sign Industry

British sign making is alive and well, and continues to test the limits of creativity, design, craftsmanship and engineering skill.

That was the verdict following the presentation of the 2016 BSGA British Sign Awards at a gala industry celebration held at the East Midlands Conference Centre at Nottingham University on Thursday, November 3rd.

This year’s awards, the third organised by the BSGA and supported by 3M, attracted entries from some truly world class projects, leaving the judging panel with an immensely difficult task in choosing which one should receive the ultimate accolade – the 2016 Sign of the Year Award.

bill-turnbull-bsa-2016In the end, the award went to Newman Displays for the sign they created to herald the arrival of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre in London’s West End.  Broadcaster Bill Turnbull, who hosted the awards, told the 320-strong audience that the magical Harry Potter sign was already a tourist attraction in its own right.  “Overseas tourists might not be able to get tickets for the show but they still turn up in their droves to take pictures of the sign,” he said.

While Newman Displays took the top award they faced some really stiff competition from a number of other superb entries, including ‘Butterflies’ for Monsoon by John Anthony Signs, ‘Paper Planes’ at Dublin Airport by Sign of the Times, ‘Flotillas’ at the NEC by Signs Now, ‘Printworks’ in Manchester by isGroup, and ‘The Authors Mural’ at Hatchette UK by The Graphic History Company and Signbox.

“In any other year, any one of these exceptional signs could have taken the top award, which is a testament to the skills and abilities of British sign makers,” said David Catanach, Director of the BSGA.

The awards proved to be a momentous occasion for the sign industry.  “It’s a unique event in the industry calendar,” said David Catanach.  “It brought together a host of sign makers, of every type and size, and industry suppliers in a convivial, if fairly competitive, environment and provided an opportunity to celebrate the great work produced over the past 12 months.


A total of 15 category awards were presented at the ceremony including:

Young Signmaker of the Year, sponsored by Roland.

Joint Winners:  Damian Jacobs of Allen Signs and Kirsty Donald of Owen Pilling Graphics

Highly Commended:  Dan Pickthall and Josh Oliver, Ast Signs; Sam Harris, HNS Signs; Ryan Gomersall, The Sign Group; Jason Lee, Spectrum Sign and Display.

Roll-out Programme of the Year

Winner:  Sign 2000 for The Post Office Re-brand.

Highly Commended:  Castleton Signs, Tarmac Re-brand;  Allen Signs, Lincolnshire Co-op; Arnold Clark, Brand re-enforcement.

Commercial Graphics of the Year, sponsored by William Smith

Winner: Elite Signs for Stagecoach Seasider Bus Fleet

Highly Commended:  Ast Signs, Type 68 locos; Premier Signs, Colchester Zoo Wrap; Identity Group, Brighton Bendy Bus

Architectural Sign of the Year, sponsored by Blackburns Metals

Winner:  John Anthony Signs for Butterflies at Monsoon

Highly Commended:  Sign of the Times, Paper Planes at Dublin Airport and Brass Map at Legal and General;  Signs Now for Flotillas at the NEC.

The 2016 Innovation Award, sponsored by Epson

Winner:  Shimmerdisc for their shimmering sequinned displays

Highly Commended: Sign of the Times, Photo-illuminescent wind baffles and Paper Planes in Dublin; Spectrum Signs for SEN Sensory Boards; Sign 2000 for their digital ‘A’ board.

Interior Signage Scheme of the Year, sponsored by Metamark

Winner: The Graphic History Company and Signbox for The Authors Mural at Hatchette, UK.

Highly Commended: Castleton Signs, Alphabeta, London; Adam Bourne, Hatchette, London;  Sign of the Times, Pokerstars, Isle of Man.

Leisure Industry Sign of the Year, sponsored by JMH Digital

Winner:  Signs Now, Flotillas at Resort World, Birmingham

Highly Commended:  Graffiti Signs, BA i360, Brighton; isGroup, Cornerhouse, Nottingham;  Granthams Signs, Golden Mile, Blackpool; Image Technique, West Ham Stadium.

The Craftsman Award, sponsored by Trade Etching Direct

Winner:  Sign of the Times,  Paper Planes at Dublin Airport

Highly Commended: Signs Now, Flotillas at the NEC; John Anthony Signs, Butterflies at Monsoon; Redbox Signs,  Tamarin Trail at Drayton Manor.

Wrap of the Year, sponsored by Spandex

(cars and small vehicles)

Winner:  PVL UK,  3D wrap for Gatwick Diamond Business

Highly Commended:  Graffix, Rally Car Wrap; Paul Turner, Smartcar Sawmill Wrap; Russell Joyce, F1 Sauber Monster Wrap.

Illuminated Sign of the Year, sponsored by Signfab UK

Winner:  isGroup for The Printworks, Manchester

Highly Commended: Newman Displays, Harry Potter; Signbox, Vantage, London;  Spectrum Signs, Oldham Leisure Centre.

Retail Sign of the Year, sponsored by Complete CNC Solutions

Winner: Identity Group, Eurotunnel

Highly Commended: N1 Visual Solutions, Everyman Barbers; Sign 2000, Tapi Carpets

Wide Format Project of the Year, sponsored by Soyang Europe

Winner: 4D Creations, Humberside Enterprise Park

Highly Commended: Sign of the Times, Cardiff Wind Baffles; Signbox, The Authors Mural; Digital Tyger, King George; Image Technique, Odeon Supagraphic.

Wayfinding Scheme of the Year, sponsored at Atlantic Tech Services

Winner:  isGroup, NOMA Manchester

High Commended: Signbox, British Academy; Dyson Signs, Paradise Island.

The Sign Construction Award, sponsored by SignLink

Winner:  Newman Displays, Harry Potter at the Palace Theatre

Highly Commended: Hollywood Monster, H₂O Manchester; Signs Now, Flotillas at the NEC; isGroup, The Printworks, Manchester;  John Anthony Signs, Butterflies at Monsoon.

The Small Signmaker of the Year, sponsored by Pyramid Display Materials

Winner:  N1 Visual Solutions

Highly Commended: Printsauce Associates; KLE Solutions; Redbox.

The 2016 Product of the Year sponsored by Sign Directions

Winner:  SkySiren PCS, Nationwide Platforms

Highly Commended:  Decormark, Metamark; Way2Go, isGroup; NeonPlus RGB, The Sign Group.

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