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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The Old Yew Tree Inn pub sign designs

The favoured calligraphic design  © Peter Gander

I recently posted about my postcard painting at The Old Yew Tree Inn, near my club’s fly-fishing lake at Westbere, Kent. Well, chatting to Mark and Anna, the proprietors recently, I suddenly became involved in a project to design and paint a new pub sign for them to replace their weatherbeaten version which has seen better days. The tradition of pub signwriting is a dying art nowadays as pubs are dying out, especially in rural areas and pub chains produce digital signs with little regard for the provenance of the pub itself, often renaming them too, thus swathes of inns have little visible heritage but the building itself. From a design point of view, Mark and I were keen to reflect a contemporary attitude (food etc) within this 14th century pub (Kent’s oldest) whilst trying not to ride roughshod over its significant history. I looked at illustrative and calligraphic design icons that respected the pub’s historical roots (forgive the pun) with the Yew Tree on centre stage. I drew up five black and white sketches (or ‘scamps’ as we call them in the trade) for Mark and Anna to choose from.

Scamps A to E  © Peter Gander
Scamp (D) proved to be the favourite and next steps will be to look at the colour palette.


  1. Modesty Trainmaker2 December 2011 at 18:04

    I prefer the last one meself.

  2. Well, the thought was that every other old pub in Britain does the 'Dick Turpin' stayed/lived/hid here, often with no real claim so they opted for something simpler.