2024 Festival Dates: 6 & 7 July

National Festival of Making + byUMBERTO: Sign Writing Workshop

10th February 2023

The National Festival of Making and artist Robert Walker aka byUMBERTO invite you to take part in a Sign-Writing workshop at Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery.


The Sign-Writing workshop will explore the fundamental basics of letter construction using two versions of the block casual method. Looking at contextual references and historical sign writing movements you will learn how to add style and flare to your lettering in preparation for painting your very own sign using traditional brush and Mahl stick techniques. 

Practical Bits

  • The workshop is open to ages 16 and over.
  • The cost is £17.50 to attend.
  • Limited availability with 12 places.
  • All materials will be provided (please note byUMBERTO uses non-solvent-based paints and ink).
  • This workshop will last approximately 5 hours including a lunch-hour break (Bring a packed lunch or choose from the many food options in Blackburn Town Centre)
  • Light refreshments will be provided, please let us know in advance of the workshop if you have any food allergies. 
  • The workshop will take place on the ground floor of Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery. There is ramp access to the building.



This workshop has been partially subsidised with the support of our funders to provide this opportunity.

Photographs will be taken during the course of the workshop and may be shared online, in print material and to promote National Festival of Making and/or Robert Walker’s work in the future. Please let us know before the session if you would not like to be included in any photography.


Workshop Dates

Saturday 4th March

10:00 AM – 4:00 PM (Including an hour’s lunch break 12:00 – 1:00 pm)

Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery.

If you have purchased a ticket and are no longer able to attend the workshops, please request a refund so that the ticket may be available for someone else.


byUMBERTO is the studio of Robert ‘Umberto’ Walker*- artist, artisan and educator. Passionate about typography, craft, detail and keeping heritage skills alive, Robert started out as a sign writer and mural painter. Today Robert’s focus is not just on learning from the best (and sometimes the last) in their field but believes in finding and using the tools once used by masters of their trade, to stay true to these heritage skills. 

Learn more about byUMBERTO

Photography Credit: Arran Cross



2019 Trusts & Foundations

The National Festival Of Making Delivery Team

National Festival of Making is supported by the Arts Council England, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Brian Mercer Trust and Foundations and Partners. This project is part-funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

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