A Good Sign

Tom Newsom

At the crack of dawn, four of us suited up in hi-viz and installed a proper sign at our space on Norwood Road. It was the culmination of a weeks-long project. Read on to see how we did it.


The logo design was a collaboration between Tom N and Tom L, inspired by the very first logo that Panja Gobel did for us over a year ago. That design had a “tools-and-parts” treatment for all the letters in TINKERSPACE (as we were called at the time).


When we formed the company, we also changed the name to Makerspace, which we felt had a broader meaning and more familiarity. We kept the yellow colour, and all the letters apart from T, just rearranged to spell Makerspace instead. But that meant we needed a new M.


Tom N made the left side a ruler, the elbow of the M into scissors, and the right side into…. something? I’m still not sure what it’s supposed to be. But that yellow just didn’t give enough contrast, especially when printed out. Also, the supplementary font choice was rather dull.  Tom Lynch took matters into his own hands and made a big improvement.


With a few little tweaks for clarity at small sizes, we’d arrived at the current logo. The colour is #EA212E and the font is Dosis.


This was the design that we decided to put above the shop windows at the space itself.


Toby, one of our new members, has access to a large-bed laser cutter at his job. This is the ideal machine for fabricating the clean-edged, high contrast shapes of our logo. He took the .SVG file that had been made in Inkscape and fed it into the machine along with some 3mm plywood. Via the amazing power of lasers, he soon had a pile of shapes like this:


Which were assembled, glued and clamped overnight to make this:


Dermot took charge of the painting. The whole thing was given two coats of bright white primer, before the red was rollered on top, just like lino or woodcut printing. This method gives very crisp lines, as the white comes right up to the top of the recess.


At 0530h on a grey and damp Sunday morning, a brave crew of four (Tom N, Matt P, Dermot and Toby) assembled at the space. A quick slug of coffee got us going and then it was out into the pre-dawn gloom for some painting.

We wanted to make it very clear that our use of the space is temporary and hand-made. With this in mind, we decided not to remove the old “Good Companion” sign, or paint it out entirely. Instead, we roughly masked out a white background right in the middle.

With two of us lifting the sign, one of us driving screws, and the other over the road shouting “UP A BIT, LEFT A BIT, RIGHT A BIT”, we quickly fixed the new sign to the old.

We spent a couple of minutes congratulating each other on a job well done before retiring to a local cafe for breakfast. The SLMS logo is now visible from far and wide. You can’t miss it!



Phase 2 of our workshop build was funded by The Mayor Of London’s High Street Fund

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