E.Mono in North London

Back in 2011 an old 1920s shop fascia was revealed on Kentish Town High Street. The nature of the E.Mono business remains a mystery but the new occupants, a kebab shop, decided the sign was worth keeping and named their shop after the historic proprietors. […]

E.Mono Shop Front

List of cities with branches of Dan Wuille & Co

Glasgow Ghostsigns Galore

I’ve been traveling a lot with work lately and was recently in Glasgow for a workshop. With a couple of hours to spare I looked up a few locations on the History of Advertising Trust Ghostsigns Archive and took to the streets. Here’s what I […]


Signs & Frescoes in Pompeii & Herculaneum 3

When I give talks on the history of signs painted on walls I often refer to their ancient history, going back at least as far as Roman times. Evidence for this comes from the ruins at Pompeii and Herculaneum as seen before on these photos […]

Painting on walls in Pompeii & Herculaneum

From The Western Neighborhoods Project: Ocean Beach. People posing atop dead whale
(Courtesy of a Private Collector)

Writing on the Whale and Other Novelties

Joe Thompson emailed me these fascinating photos of lettering on unusual objects, namely a dead whale (1919) and a shipwrecked oil tanker (1926). They are from San Francisco, recently donated to the Western Neighbourhoods Project. Read more about the photos and the project on SF […]


Restoration Period in the Monotype Recorder

Last year I was invited to contribute an article on ghostsigns to the reincarnation of the Monotype Recorder periodical. It focused on issues of protection and restoration which I have covered regularly on this blog and continue to maintain an active interest in. A couple […]

Restoration Period spread from Monotype Recorder


Ghostsigns on the Telly

I was invited by London Live to chat about ghostsigns and this is what they made. A slightly more extended written piece with the same video featured on the Independent.


R.N. Cattle & Son in Harvey Gould’s Soho

This fascinating video about Soho features longtime resident Harvey Gould talking about the people and places that he remembers from the area. At 10:48 he discusses the painted wooden sign for R.N. Cattle & Son in Portland Mews. He then heads up the mews itself […]


Photograph: Kinez Riza

Ancient Indonesian Cave Paintings

Here is the latest discovery relating to the ancient history of paint on walls around the world. This time the image above and others depicting human features and animals have been found in Indonesia and dated to 35,000 to 39,000 years old. This is comparable […]