Fonts – Numbered fanlights

Fanlight Numbers

Let’s have a look at the process we go through to get a number in a fanlight.

I’m going to restore David’s Victorian front door, 61 Barlow Moor Road in Didsbury. The original traditional stained glass in the door will be encapsulated into a double glazed unit and then after I make the aperture in the door a little bigger and paint the door that new unit will be fitted into it. But what about the fan light?

Georgian Door Fanlights

As we don’t have any leaded light for the window above the door David justs wants it simple. This won’t distract us from the beautiful glass in the door, so just a number 61.

First thing to do is decide what we want. When I first visited David I just said that we can use any font you find or design yourself (and this does happen).

Fan Light Fonts

David does his homework and comes back to me straight away with a photo of a printed 61 and the word Didot. He found the Didot font on a computer at work and I didn’t find it in Microsoft Word so I had a look online and downloaded it, very simple. The software used by the glass company uses font files just like Word or Photoshop so all I have to do is send them the ttf file with the different sized fonts in.

I break out the old glass from the door frame and prepare it for glazing. In this case I made two templates that day, fitted one to the frame and the other went to the glaziers with the font file and a desired height of the number. They will sand blast a number 61 at 150mm height onto the glass 100mm from the bottom. They then make it into a double glazed unit and I fit it.

Hand Painted Fan light

Sometimes a customer wants the number to look a bit older so I’ll print a number back to front and place it under the glass to hand paint the number on the inside of the glass. This way the paint is protected inside the double glazed unit. Sometimes I’ll just paint it onto the existing glass if it’s staying

Hand Painted Number on glass

Now and again I won’t be changing the glass but a number is still to go on. I do this with a vinyl transfer which is laser cut from software again (same ttf file sent to Andy) which is then easily stuck on inside the old glass.

Think Of The Light

So we restore David’s door and fit the fanlight and that night David sees something quite nice in his hallway. He takes a photo and sends it to me. The street light projects the 61 onto the wall in the darkness.

Light through a fanlight

And we have a beautifully restored Victorian door with the original traditional stained glass and  a gorgeous number in the fanlight.

Victorian Front Door Didsbury Encapsulated Glass

Creative Fan Light Numbering

Marianne’s a nice person to be around, she’s quiet funny actually AND she makes REALLY good coffee!

She’s a barrister. This side of her shows in the design we agreed for the door, the muted dark blue colour AND the font and style we used for the number in the fan light.

There’s a fun tone to it all BUT it’s straight to the point and without being aggressive, really quite dominating.

Fan Light Number Sixteen 16-PR1-9RE

Marianne’s house number here is sand blasted onto the inside of the outer skin on the double glazed unit as the word ‘Sixteen’.

To work out the best size for the font I mark it on the existing glass or print something out on to paper and stick it on to the glass, test and adjust until it’s perfect.

Marianne’s font here is Gill Sans, the same font the BBC uses in it’s BBC logo.

What number is your home and how are you going to express YOU in it’s design?

BBC font – Gill Sans

Here’s another fan light number set in the BBC font, clear on a frosted background.

Fanlight Door

Looks very classic in design, but bold, straight to the point. The clear number 28 helps accentuate the clear border in the door glass, marrying up brilliantly.

Get creative

Will, a graphic designer in Manchester, wanted to have a beautiful front door. He also wanted to play a part in the design so got involved by designing a number for his fan light.

With the etched glass and clear borders in the door, the bespoke number in the fan light looks modern and very unique.

You don’t have to be a graphic designer of course, usually that’s my job.

Get creative with your fan light number, send me some ideas.

Leave a comment