Signs With Soul By Goodwin & Goodwin

Set up in 2010 by Viviane and Paul Goodwin, Goodwin & Goodwin has turned the world of signmaking on its head. The north London-based company produces a range of signs for private and corporate clients including cinema style bill boards, illuminated letters, neon and light bulb signs, vintage letters made of metal or Perspex, light boxes plus a range of homeware.

The company came to life when Paul and Viviane spotted a gap in the market for typographic based signs for use in the home. “We’d always noticed that there were many fantastic type-based items out there and asked ourselves why they weren’t available for people to have at home,” explains Viviane. “So we started creating iconic signs, marketed them at a price point that was accessible to people, and the business went from there.”

Today Goodwin & Goodwin’s client base is made up of private individuals located all over the UK and abroad, including royals, pop stars and celebs, but also prestigious organisations who have commissioned bespoke signs to create a specific look in a commercial environment. For example the company has created, among many others, the lightbulb “Movies” sign for the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, LED letter signs for Timberland, illuminated arrows for Ted Baker and bulb signs for Coca-Cola.

What makes their products stand out is the company’s ability to combine good design and strong typography, meaning its products not only exude fun but also incorporate their own unique style. “What we’ve tried to do is combine signage with great design to produce something that really conveys a message,” says Paul, who was previously design director for a creative agency. “Design in typography is hugely important and it really does work; we receive a lot of positive comments about how our signs have changed the image of a business, improved the appearance of a shop front and brought more people through the door.”

Many of Goodwin & Goodwin’s design ideas are inspired by iconic 1950s Americana and also draw on the skills involved in typographic design of that era. “There is an element of nostalgia in what we produce which people really like,” says Viviane. “Our signs are very atmospheric—the lighting is warm—and they really do look good in the home or workplace where they add a sense of soul and style. People just love them and that’s part of our success.”

Another aspect of the company’s success is the quality of the products themselves. “The design is key of course,” says Paul. “But also vital is producing a high quality product. The vast majority of ours are made here in our workshop, mostly by hand so the craftsmanship is excellent, with the rest manufactured locally.”

Also important is keeping up with trends in design, fashion and desire. “We keep our eyes open for new ideas and take inspiration from what we see around us,” explains Paul. “For example I’m always looking at old fonts and typefaces for inspiration and recently saw some vintage machine name plates with great typography so I will create some work based around that. Yes the company’s growth has been phenomenal over the past five years, which is terrific, but as we don’t want to stand still we need to keep up with trends in design and fashion and ensure we stay one step ahead!”

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