Call for Photos: Ghostsigns Calendar 2014 18

Fading advertisement painted on a wall for Black Cat Cigarettes

Order the 2014 Ghostsigns Calendar here.

[Update: Entries are now closed. All entries and details of how to get the final calendar on this page of the Ghostsigns website.]

This is a call for submissions to a new experiment from Ghostsigns, creating a photographic calendar for 2014 featuring some of the world’s best ghostsigns. To enter your picture(s) for a chance to be included in the calendar please follow the instructions below.

All the suitable pictures entered will be posted to the Ghostsigns Facebook page on Friday, 8 November, and those with the most ‘likes’ by Friday, 22 November, will be used for the calendar. I will be submitting my photo above for Black Cat Cigarettes, what will you chose from your own collection?

How to Enter (by email to

  1. You can enter a maximum of five photos before the deadline of midnight (UK time) on Thursday, 7 November.
  2. Copy the text below and paste into the body of an email addressed to
  3. Complete the basic details requested for each photo submitted: File name; Advertised brand; Street name, city and country; Photographer name/credit; Date of photo.
  4. Attach your photo(s), ensuring that they are print ready and at least 2371×2875 pixels. (Do not increase the dimensions of smaller photos to meet this requirement as they will not work in print.) You may enter a maximum of five photos.
  5. Encourage friends and family to vote for your photo(s) on Facebook until the 22 November deadline.

Email Text for Entries (copy and paste into your email)

I certify that the attached photo(s) are my own work and that I own full copyright for their use. I grant to Ghostsigns, free of charge, permission to use the images in any way Ghostsigns wants, including modifying and adapting them for operational and editorial reasons, for publication in any media worldwide, including the Ghostsigns website which is accessed by international users. I also give permission to Ghostsigns to license these images for use by trusted third parties to support the future research efforts of Ghostsigns. In granting these permissions I retain the full copyright of these photo and will inform Ghostsigns of any changes to my position as the copyright owner. Details of the images submitted are given below.

File name:
Advertised brand:
Street name, city and country:
Photographer name/credit:
Date of photo:

Some additional notes

  1. The calendar will be A3 size, printed on 200gsm satin art paper, with the photos taking up about half the space for each month.
  2. The calendar will be made available for purchase at c.£25 on or before Sunday, 1 December 2013, to allow orders to be be placed in time for Christmas. This is more expensive than pop group and TV series calendars but gives you a limited edition collection of ghostsigns photography which can be re-mounted and framed at the end of the year.
  3. For the purposes of this calendar, ghostsigns are defined as fading advertising painted directly onto the wall of a building.
  4. 12 photos will be included in the final printed calendar.
  5. All decisions about the entries posted to Facebook for voting will be made by Ghostsigns with no exception.
  6. Ghostsigns reserves the right to make changes to these details and the publishing of the calendar.
  7. If you have any questions then please email or leave them in the comments section below.
  • mj

    Great project. Can you clarify which orientation the photos should be? You’re example is landscape, but the entry info says portrait. Thanks!

    • I made a mistake in the initial posting which is now changed. Either portrait or landscape can be accepted, although landscape will probably work best with the orientation of the calendar.

  • jon

    Does the winners will get a free copy?

    • Sadly not as there will be 12 people and the costs too high to provide this benefit.

      • Katie

        A bit cheeky to ask for essentially free use of photos (that you can re-licence and profit from) with the ‘winners’ getting nothing in return.

        • It’s completely your decision if you want to get involved and there’s no pressure to do so. Some people do it for the fun, and also the profile of having work featured in a project that will reach a wide audience of ghostsigns enthusiasts. As above, this is an experiment and all feedback like this is useful for developing the project in the future.

      • jon

        Sadly i found that crowdsourcing is too often just plain exploitation

        • See my reply to Katie above. If you feel exploited then the best thing is not to get involved. If the calendar proves popular this year then providing copies to winners in the future would definitely be an option so perhaps wait and see what happens next year before making any commitment.

          • jon

            I will do the best thing and not get involved anymore after this post (I
            feel a little like a troll, which it isn’t cool to be, sorry). I will not feel
            exploited, don’t worries. Still, your calendar idea is great, but i
            personally find your methode to collect content isn’t. If you are afraid
            of losing any money (by giving to your collaborator one copy of the
            final work), why not use great tool like Kickstarter to pre-fund your
            project. You might also be surprise to see how it’s also a great way to
            advertise your project.

          • Thanks for the Kickstarter thought Jon, I think this is definitely a direction that I want to take in the future. This is the first time I’ve tried something like this so I wanted to keep it as simple as possible at the start. The response so far has been really positive and I hope that next year it can be a bigger and better part of the overall ghostsigns project.

          • alex

            I am not taking a for or against here, but this is a good article on this issue from the perspective of a seasoned creative:


          • Thanks Alex, it is great article and one that chimes with me having recently been paid for the first time for a piece of writing and also some photography. I think that one of the distinctions that we should consider is between those who create as professionals and those who do so as amateurs or hobbyists. I found that most of the voluntary contributions to the History of Advertising Trust Ghostsigns Archive came from the latter group, whereas the professionals tended to avoid involvement. This in itself compounds the problems faced by professionals if there are others who are just doing it for the fun and a bit of exposure on top of that is a nice thing to have.

        • Mira

          While I would agree with you and others about crowd sourcing as exploitation for most other
          things (e.g., design or photographic work), I more so view this as a project
          for the ghostsign enthusiast as opposed to an opportunity for
          professional photographers to get noticed. Like Sam said, in this case,
          don’t get involved if you feel exploited. Personally, I don’t need the photographic
          recognition…I’d just love to be able to contribute to such a cool
          project! Preserving by archiving these beautiful fading historical signs
          across the globe is only possible with the help of multiple people. See
          it as a chance to be apart of archiving history as these fading signs
          (and often painted over by newer signs) that may not last forever!

          • gibbs connors signpainter

            this is awesome. i’ll gladly do it. you guys have done so much for the trade i’m glad to help out.

          • Thanks for your kind words, I hope that I can continue the support and show the great work of sign painters, past and present.

          • Thanks Mira, I look forward to seeing your entries, so far we have material from seven different countries which is great for increasing the global reach of the project.

  • Thanks again for all the comments, voting for the final 12 pictures is now underway on Facebook (via the ‘like’ function) here: