The Traditional Signs Company
Brian Phipps runs The Traditional Signs
Company, who create a product that brings back the
heritage of signage and places it in the appropriate
environment. These signs replicate the authentic design of
traditional road and village signs and are popular with local
authorities and with companies and individual seeking a
traditional and quality signage to point people in the right
Here Digger talks to Brian
about these beautiful and nostalgic signs and about the company.
Digger: What is your background Brian and can you please tell
The Traditional Signs Company
started and how the company has
evolved into what it is today?
Brian: I originally trained as an
educational design technology teacher, working in plastics and
composites. A large part of my working life has been
involved in composite manufacturing within the marine
environment. Living by the water in Cornwall, local industry
tends to be in specialist areas and “traditional sign”
manufacture fits perfectly. Cornwall is dotted with traditional signs on B road junctions, walkways, villages etc;
made originally of cast iron. The life of these signs is
starting to come to an end with directional fingers broken,
posts cracked, rust effecting visual efficiency and additional
directional fingers required. When the local highways team
were looking for a solution, we came up with the answer, and
the local parish councils very much want to maintain the characterful traditional signage
Digger: Please tell us more about the signs and services on
offer from Traditional Signs.
Brian: The signs are made to look, feel
like and imitate the original cast iron or wooden signs found in the
local area. To do that a plug or mould is made as an exact
copy of the original sign i.e. the post, sign fingers and
Once the moulds are prepared,
the various product parts themselves can be manufactured,
signage letters moulded and edging borders prepared.
Whilst Traditional Signs make
complete new signs, we also manufacture replacement
directional fingers and finials, new parts and provide a
service to repaint old signs, on location or at our
Digger: There’s nothing more nostalgic and traditional than
one of these signs in a British village or town. But what
other sorts of uses have these signs been put to and in what
sorts of locations are they found?
Brian: Tradition runs throughout our
culture, in the village, in the countryside, around the town,
and in the work place. Whilst you will find our “ Traditional
Signs” beside the road, you will also find them on country
estates, as road name plates, at county shows, in private
house entrances and even part of garden features. Anywhere,
that aluminium reflective signs are just not appropriate or
Digger: The signs come in a very traditional look but with
modern materials, construction and technology. Can you tell us
more about the production process?
Brian: Using moulds made to replicate
the original design, the final product is hand-laminated using
glass-reinforced plastic and other support materials. The
result is a product that is robust, virtually maintenance-free, visually attractive, has no value as scrap metal.
The various sections can be replaced or updated when required
providing a long-lasting solution to an ageing problem.
Digger: Why is vintage, retro and nostalgia such a big thing
in so many people's lives?
Brian: Nostalgia and tradition are
linked to our history and culture as much as computers and
science are linked to our future. Individually, and as a
community, we gain comfort from specific aspects of our past
and Traditional Signs provide part of that history. When
provided with the choice between a replica cast-iron style
Traditional Sign and a modern aluminium flat road sign to be
sited in a village, on a country walk way or within an estate
park, the evidence by choice falls firmly with tradition.
Digger: Where are your customers coming from and what customer
feedback/comments do you get?
Brian: Our customer base grows
steadily but our initial service started with county highways
and parish councils. Further development has lead to us
working with property developers and architects on projects
that require a traditional aspect. Other areas include National
Heritage and Trust Associations, film and props
requirements, temporary company signage at shows and displays
and private commissions for individual properties.
What are the best and most enjoyable aspects of Traditional
Brian: Viewing a Traditional Sign in-situ which fits in perfectly with its surroundings and which
the passers-by believe is the original sign and material.
What are your plans for Traditional Signs and the other
strands of your business in the future?
Brian: Traditional Signs fulfil a
service to a very unique market. Our mission is to make more
potential customers aware of that service and expand what we
manufacture by identifying the range of styles and locations where these
Traditional Signs can be used.
The Traditional Signs
Company, create a product that brings back the heritage of
signage and places it in the appropriate environment.
- At home - in the typical rural lane - in the country
town - historic city centre - village cross roads -
country estate - coastal footpath - farm entrance.
In fact Windsport Traditional Signs look good where ever
they stand. Manufactured by a small personal company ,
located in a waterside village hamlet in the far south
west of England Traditional Signs combine the benefits of
materials with the original visual impact, feel and
texture of signage used in a age when visual aesthetics
were just as important as the information itself.
Supplied to County Highway agencies for traditional style
B road signage, historic locations and replacement of
original signage due to damage or age the package is
easily assembled using standard highway tools and
Parish councils and local environmental agencies keen to
maintain consistency with traditional road signage in the
area can select from our standard range of products or
request a product identical to those in the area.
Signs’ have the facility to make moulds from original cast
signs or produce moulds from scratch.
Single, double and treble directional arms signs are
available with variations of arm shape, boarder options,
single or double sided directional information
Where appropriate ‘Traditional Signs’ will make individual
arms and finials to replace those damaged with out the
need to replace the whole sign post.
Out on the road or in the village ‘Traditional Signs’
deliver a sign style in keeping with the environment but
it need not be just in the public areas. Traditional signs
also suit a variety of private and corporate locations.
Trust and English Heritage sites, historic areas, themed
sets, private roads and houses. Where ever you want that
traditional style look we can help, manufacturing a range
of products in a variety of colours that lend themselves
Mylor Yacht Harbour
Cornwall TR11 5UF
tel. 01326 376191
fax. 01326 376192
The Traditional Signs Company