Case study: Signs for the National Gallery

The National Gallery approached us for our expertise to provide a design that would work for the art pieces to be displayed. The customer had a drawing with dimensions and some idea of how they wanted it to look but needed assistance to develop an attractive design that would showcase the art pieces elegantly.

We were working from basic drawings and a very brief description of the final ‘look’ that was required.  So we drew up new drawing designs to help the client visualise the proposed end result.

The customer also required a high-quality finish with precise dimensions and angles.

We experienced a range of issues and difficulties in achieving these requirements. Here’s how our skilled metalwork fabricators overcome those challenges:

  1. We had no drawings to work to and the customer did not know what material would work best. Early on we discounted the idea of making the signs in brass, which was initially suggested by the customer. But this material proved to be unsuccessful. Following much discussion about their requirements we made the signs/frames from mild steel which proved easy to work with as a basis for the various frame dimensions and configurations required.
  2. There were large numbers of signs required and every one was different, each requiring a prototype to be provided by way of a sample. Each of the samples was tested by us in terms of strength and durability (given that they needed to be displayed for some time). The customer felt that the samples were successful.
  3. The finish was key on these samples. The seamless welds post a particular challenge as they were difficult to achieve given the depth of the slots. A number of attempts and approaches was tested with the seamless welds. This was essential to ensure the powder-coated finish would be effective.
  4. The finish required on the frames was also difficult to achieve as the powder coating built up in the slots. The welding was key to this and the design of the signs enabled us to achieve seamless welds.

We worked carefully to ensure the final finish was absolutely perfect. Each of the various signs were checked and the customer was delighted by the high-quality outcome.