Traditional Signwriting

Sign painting remains a popular permanent signage choice. Our skilled signwriters paint imagery and branding and are also trained in gold and silver leaf application. Ideal for listed or heritage buildings, traditional signwriting is ideal for hospitality venues and on uneven surfaces.

Business branding that speaks volumes

Traditional signwriting is a technique of creating signs and lettering using paint, brushes, and other tools by hand. This technique was commonly used before the introduction of digital sign-making techniques and vinyl cutting machines. Despite the rise of digital sign-making techniques, traditional signwriting continues to be used today. It is often preferred for its authenticity and handcrafted look, and can be seen on the signs of many small businesses and shops around the world. Wise Studios still places great importance on providing these techniques and extensively trains its staff in these signage methods. Our artisanal approach helps to confer tried and tested and methodical values to the brands that use our sign writing services.

A signage business with an eye to the past as well as the future

Traditional signwriting involves the use of a variety of materials, including oil-based or water-based paints, gilding materials, and brushes of various sizes and shapes. The signwriter begins by sketching the design onto the surface using chalk or pencil. They then use the brush to carefully fill in the design, building up the layers of paint to create a smooth, vibrant finish. Traditional signwriting requires a high level of skill and precision. At Wise Studios, our sign writers have a good eye for detail, an understanding of typography, and the ability to work with various materials and tools. They are also able to work quickly and efficiently, as most signwriting jobs have tight deadlines.

Many businesses, particularly those that value craftsmanship, authenticity, and a handmade aesthetic, still opt for traditional signwriting over digital signage. This is especially true for small businesses such as independent cafes, restaurants, and boutique shops, who often rely on traditional signwriting to convey a sense of charm, character, and individuality. We can help with all aspects including implementation, installation (where necessary) and maintenance for whatever scheme you have in mind.

Retro vehicle graphics

This can be particularly useful for their application to your fleet if you wish to convey individuality or an established brand or quality products. Our clients value how we can provide detailed digital mock-ups of what the final produced design will look like. We have the experience and size to scale your design across your entire fleet, no matter how many vehicles you have. We can arrange to obtain your vehicles when it's most convenient so you have down time minimized and because we cover the Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington region we're never that far away from you.

Sign writing for office and workplaces

Sign painting is a versatile and effective way to create wall art for businesses, and can help them to create a distinctive look and feel that sets them apart from competitors. In addition to creating custom designs, our sign painters can also recreate vintage or retro signage styles, which can be especially popular for businesses that want to convey a sense of nostalgia or history.

Sign painting techniques can be used to create wall art for businesses. In fact, sign painting and mural painting have a long history of overlapping, and our sign painters are also skilled muralists. Using traditional sign painting techniques to create wall art can result in a unique and authentic look that can help businesses stand out and create a memorable impression on customers. Our sign painters can create custom designs that incorporate a business's branding, logo, or other elements, and can work with a variety of materials and surfaces, including walls, windows, and even floors.

Sign writing's eco-credentials

Traditional signs can be more environmentally friendly than modern digital signage, depending on how they are made and used. One of the main advantages of traditional signs is that they are typically made from natural materials such as wood, metal, or stone, which are biodegradable and renewable. This means that when the sign has reached the end of its useful life, it can be easily recycled or disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.

In contrast, digital signs are typically made from non-biodegradable materials such as plastics and metals, which can take many years to decompose and can contribute to environmental pollution if not properly disposed of. In addition, traditional signs do not require electricity to operate, which means that they do not consume energy or produce carbon emissions like digital signs do. This can make them a more environmentally friendly option for businesses that are concerned about their carbon footprint.

However, it's worth noting that traditional sign-making techniques can also have environmental drawbacks, particularly if they involve the use of toxic materials such as lead-based paints or harsh solvents. To minimize these environmental impacts, it's important for sign makers to use eco-friendly materials and techniques whenever possible, and to properly dispose of any hazardous materials they do use.

Contact our team today. We can provide you with expert advice and a free no obligation quote.


Wellington, Auckland and Tauranga


This project hit the brief to deliver signage that beautifully reflects the company and its values. The client loved our solutions and the feel and look created. The client has since commissioned...


Multiple sites


We manufacture and project manage the installation of a range of signage for Ebbett dealerships to meet brand guidelines and the highest quality standards. We also assist Ebbett to modernise and...

The Green

Greenlane, Auckland

The Green

The signage throughout this popular large public space cemented its identity and personality, while seamlessly navigating visitors around the area. Signs included designed and engineered...

Traditional signwriting FAQs

Companies we’ve worked with

Volks Wagon

The Volkswagen Group with its headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany is one of the world's leading manufacturers of automobiles and commercial vehicles.


Škoda is a hive of technical development. A place where models are crafted and put into full-scale production.


Tracing its history back to 1924, MG is the iconic motoring brand, famous for building sporty, exciting and value-for-money cars which are always fun to drive.

Auckland Transport

Auckland Transport is the council-controlled organisation of Auckland Council responsible for transport projects and services


MOTAT is New Zealand's largest transport and technology museum and offers a fun and exciting learning experience for visitors of all ages.

Auckland Zoo

Auckland Zoo is home to the largest collection of wildlife in New Zealand


MC is New Zealand's biggest litigation firm, by far. They represent New Zealand Government and private-sector clients.


Established in 1928, the Ebbett Group now represents 25 brands across 21 dealerships in New Zealand. Their mission is to “love delivering exceptional experiences every single day” and they strive...


Fonterra is one of the largest dairy manufacturers in the world , as well as New Zealand's largest exporter of dairy products.


With 850 hotels in over 70 countries, Ramada is one of the most recognized hotel brands in the world.


Australasia's leading apartment hotel brand

White + Wongs

White + Wong's restaurants brings big and fresh Asian flavours to New Zealand.

Silky Otter Cinemas

The Silky Otter offers a modern and luxurious cinema experience

Oyster Property Group

Oyster is a leading New Zealand commercial property and fund manager with expertise in property fund structuring and equity raising.


A leading supplier of construction equipment, diesel engines, generators and transmissions to a variety of industries throughout New Zealand.


CUPRA is the unconventional challenger brand that combines emotional design, electrification and performance to inspire the world from Barcelona.

Safari Group

Safari Group are a leading investor focused developer having delivered over 2000 hotel units and residential apartments.


The Audi Group is among the world’s leading producers of premium cars.

La Quinta by Wyndham

La Quinta by Wyndham hotels offer everyday essentials, friendly staff, and contemporary accommodation.


Americold offers the most comprehensive temperature-controlled storage and distribution network available.

Cookie Time

A family owned Christchurch company, founded in February 1983 with the delivery of 70 jars of Cookie Time® Original™ Chocolate Chunk cookies to 70 Christchurch stores. People quickly fell in love...


Poolwerx is the largest pool retail and service business in Australia and New Zealand.


A design and experience centric company who create furniture solutions based on their intimate understanding of workplace behaviour and the organisation.


A leading provider of literacy curriculum, professional services, and classroom magazines, and a producer of educational and popular children's media.



Youthline is a "with youth, for youth" organisation that supports young people throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organisation that helps families build and improve a place to call home, here in New Zealand and around the world.


New Zealand's premier skateboard, snowboard and streetwear store.

Dunlop Flooring

Dunlop Flooring is focused solely on the manufacture and supply of re-bond foam carpet cushion (carpet underlay) to the New Zealand market.

My Food Bag

My Food Bag is a New Zealand meal-kit home-delivery service providing customers with ingredients and recipes to cook meals.


Animates is a new breed of pet store with everything for your pets needs under one roof.


Founded in 1932, Butlers is Ireland’s premier family-owned firm dedicated to the craft of exceptional chocolate-making.

Callaghan Innovations

Callaghan are New Zealand's innovation agency. They activate innovation and help businesses grow faster for a better New Zealand.

Crombie Lockwood

Crombie Lockwood brokers combine local and industry knowledge with insurance expertise, to keep their clients protected when things go wrong.

Kiwi Wealth

Kiwi Wealth offers investment services across New Zealand through their KiwiSaver Scheme, Managed Funds, and Private Portfolio Service.


Mevo is Australasia's first free-floating and the world's first climate positive car share company, born in Wellington.


MITO offers a range of on-job training programmes and learning experiences for those working full-time in the industries that they support.

Noel Leeming

Noel Leeming Group is New Zealand's leading appliance and electronics retail company.


New Zealand's leading media organisation

Te Papa

Te Papa is New Zealand's national museum, renowned for being bicultural, scholarly, innovative, and fun.


Tesla designs and manufactures electric vehicles, battery energy storage from home to grid-scale, solar panels and solar roof tiles, and related products and services.

The Warehouse (TWL)

The Warehouse has Everyday Low Prices across Clothing, Homeware, Toys, Groceries and much more.

Warehouse Stationary

Warehouse Stationery has almost 20,000 products across multiple categories including Office Supplies, School Supplies, Fashion stationery, Technology and Furniture.


“The team at Wise Studios collaborated with our team to ensure that we had a consistent look with all of our new offices throughout New Zealand. Their project management and professionalism provided an excellent result.”

Irene Bates, EAP Services Ltd

“Wise Studios have great people and go the extra mile. They were instrumental in helping reintroduce the MG Brand to New Zealand.”

Anthony MacLean, MG Motor New Zealand

“The Wise Studios team have worked extremely hard with our dealer Tristram European to get their New Volkswagen Auckland Dealership looking amazing and updated with the Volkswagen new 2020 Brand Design.”

Rob Kieran, Volkswagen New Zealand.