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The 2019 British Sign Awards Gala Event

British Sign Awards 2019

Brilliant and Inspiring  – Event Showcases the Best of British Sign Making

The sign industry came together in Leicester on November 14th to celebrate the outstanding achievements of sign makers over the past year….and what a celebration it turned out to be.

The seventh British Sign Awards organised under the auspices of ISA-UK (formerly the BSGA) turned out to be the most successful to date.  “We had the most entries ever, a complete complement of sponsors, covering every award category and, with an attendance of nearly 400, we had a full house at the Athena in Leicester,” said David Catanach, Director of ISA-UK.

“It’s fair to say that the whole event had a party atmosphere.  The Athena was decked out as a winter wonderland, the actual awards presentation was created to deliver an Oscar-like vibe, and it was all driven by the host Shaun Williamson (the ill-fated Barrie Evans from Eastenders) who shocked and delighted the gathering by starting things off by belting out his version of the song ‘Sweet Caroline’.

“Even the trophies this year were extra special. Designed and produced by Trade Etching Direct, who also sponsor the Craftsman Award, the unique trophies combined etched stainless steel and brass with acrylics in red, white and blue and also featured internal illumination.

“Most importantly we had a host of inspiring winners and shortlisted entries, all demonstrating the outstanding skills and creativity that continue to make the UK sign industry world class,” said David Catanach.

Judging the awards is scrupulously fair, with the identities of entrants carefully hidden from the judges until their decision is finalised.  Each judge awards marks from 1 to 10 to each entry and the outcome isn’t known until the scores are added up.

“If it’s of any consolation to the runners-up, in most categories the scoring was incredibly close, with as little as 0.5 of a point deciding the winner in one case,” said Ray Hirst, organiser of the Awards.  “In the end the system delivered some fabulous winners representing the full spectrum of the industry, from  small sign businesses to the biggest.”

The top prize – the trophy for Sign of the Year – was another incredibly close call, with four entries – ‘IM External Signage’ by isGroup, ‘One Bartholomew’ by Signbox, ‘Dorset House’ by Goodwin and Goodwin and ‘McDonalds’ by Butterfield Signs – shortlisted by the judges.

The decision went to Goodwin and Goodwin for their work at Dorset House, an art-deco building in London and the trophy was presented by Mike Smith, Operations Director at SignFab on behalf of joint corporate sponsors SignFab, Make it Happen and FirstliteLED.  The winning project included the primary building sign plus a curved and stepped canopy in polished stainless steel and stainless steel and glass door surrounds, all intricately produced in the art-deco style.

Another special award was for Young Signmaker of the Year, sponsored by Antalis, because it carried a special prize for the winner – the chance to visit Orlando in Florida next year to take in Sign Expo, the world’s biggest sign exhibition.  The prize was courtesy of ISA (International Sign Association), represented at the awards event by the association’s President, Lori Anderson, who flew in from the USA especially for the occasion. In addition to the flights and accommodation provided by ISA, the winner will also receive £250.00 spending money from ISA-UK.

In yet another close-run competition, the top prize went to Daniel Garrett of Graffiti Design International.  Dan joined Graffiti in 2013 and over the past six years has worked his way up to become Joint Works Manager at the East Sussex-based business.

View all the images from this year's Gala Event

All the photographs from this year’s event are available to view and download. Simply click the button to visit our Google Drive