Revival Bar & Kitchen transom sign, design process pictorial

Alright, I'm gonna try to this with as many pictures and as few words as I possibly can... (ha!).  Ask me a question, if you have any. We just put up a gilded sign over the door at a new restaurant in Berkeley, and here are some sketches leading up to it.

At first meeting, the client mentioned liking old ghost signs, and the look of the Dollar Dreadful website.  They already had a make-shift logo, to bide them through their opening weeks, and the only part of it they suggested maybe keeping was the "+" linking bar and kitchen.  I sketched some, we talked more, I sketched more...

The simple knotwork motif in the frame of that bottom sketch, was adapted from a sign New Bohemia did for Chow, way back in the 20th century.  Anyway, we ended up dropping that, but developed the letter style some more, running the v's through a sharpener, among other things.

At this point, I was hoping maybe to use a font I'd designed a year or so ago, for another job which, as it happens, had fallen through:

But Revival didn't like it much, prob'ly for the same reasons that Curator didn't like it much.  Too pointy?  They suggested they liked Grant's Antique, from the Letterheads Font shop, and we agreed that the Boston Candies logo on that page was a lot like what they wanted.  So, I sketched some more, looking at that, some Dover frame collections, and my copy of Atkinson sign reproductions:

They liked those, and also decided to go with an ampersand, instead of the plus sign.  While working on a few takes on the frame  I went on a Letterhead Fonts shopping spree, then tried making them fit the sketch shapes, so they could have a printable logo version of the sign.

Eventually, we settled on something, and went out to gild, on Monday.

When I saw the deep overhang above the transom, I decided to put matte centers on "Revival", so it would diffuse more light, and be more visible from positions where the window reflected the dark ceiling.  I think it'll look really good in the light of those little marquee bulbs, too.

And here's what it looks like done: