Yearly Archives: 2014




This weekend I’m bringing a collection of original painted signs from Kratie, Cambodia, and photography of others across the country to A.S. Handover in Stoke Newington, London. The exhibition is completely free and I’ll be there all weekend to discuss the material and sign copies […]

Signs of Cambodia: Free London Exhibition



Painted sign for Heleys Drinks 3
Stuart Walsh got in touch from Mildura, on the edge of the Australian Outback, following the ghostsigns feature in the Guardian. What he sent me really caught my eye and he has kindly let me share some of his photos here on the blog. Here’s […]

Ghostsigns of Mildura, on the Edge of the Outback


Painted sign on a wall covered by a perspex sheet 5
This ghostsign for Peters Ice Cream in Sydney was photographed and shared by Mike Meyer while in Australia running signwriting workshops with Better Letters. It has been covered by a perspex sheet, presumably to protect it from vandalism and, to a degree, the elements. It […]

Perspex Protecting Ghostsigns from Barcelona to Sydney




Painted sign fading on a wall advertising Teinturerie des Penitents
A new book from Steven Heller and Gail Anderson features a handful of my ghostsigns photos from around the world (London, Cambodia, France and Australia). Typographic Universe documents a variety of ‘found’ letters in the environment, people and animals, alongside the creation of letters from […]

Ghostsigns in the Typographic Universe


Painted sign on a wall for A.v.Wees Cola Drink
Last month I visited Amsterdam as part of my work on Better Letters. (Read more about it here, including lots more photos of lettering and signage.) While there I saw a number of ghostsigns, including many that have been repainted as part of the work […]

Ghostsigns in Amsterdam & Some Repainted




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This ghostsign advertising Roxy’s Hunting Goods did for Lawrence O’Toole what the Stoke Newington Fount Pens sign did for me. It sensitised him to the presence of ghostsigns in the urban environment, and started a programme of activity that would lead to the publication of […]

Fading Ads of Philadelphia by Lawrence O’Toole


Painted advertisement on a gable end for Puck Matches
This fascinating archival image is part of a larger collection of outdoor advertising captured photographically in the early 1930s and donated to the History of Advertising Trust (HAT) by Alan Bristow. This particular gable end in Pendleton features a painted sign advertising Puck Matches, which […]

Puck Matches: Archival Photo of a Gable End


Painted sign on wall for Dr Bells
Rob Estes of Brushstroke Signs took the photograph below which reached me via Cornbread of the Walldogs. It’s of a recent ghostsign revealed in Paducah, Kentucky, and has elements that have survived in excellent condition, protected by an adjacent building that has now been demolished. […]

Dr Bells: A Stunning Ghostsign Reveal in Paducah




Fading sign painted on a wall advertising Dr King 1
This Melbourne ghostsign is a recent reveal and was captured by Nick Gadd, the writer behind Melbourne Circle. Nick’s research into the sign was recently published in an anthology of papers titled ‘Melbourne Subjective‘. He investigates the sign and creates a tentative hypothesis about who […]

Dr King: The Story of a Melbourne Ghostsign by Nick ...






Painted sign on a wall advertising 'Hospital for Horses and Dogs'
Here is a new (to me at least) approach to respecting ghostsigns while undertaking building renovations/property development. The host wall of this sign in Washington DC has been painted, with a careful distance left around the surviving lettering for this veterinary hospital. It could well […]

Skirting the Edges of a Ghostsign in Washington DC



Brimay Safety Matches Ghost Sign
One of the things I most enjoy about my work on ghostsigns is getting involved with student projects using the signs as a springboard into other creative processes. I’ve helped on a number of these, most recently the work of Gloria Soria at London College […]

Ghosting with Ghost Signs: An Experiment in Risography



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I’ve recently subscribed to Shopfrontelegy, a post-per-day blog from Vici MacDonald, the photographer and publisher behind Formerly. Given my recent interest in ‘fading fascias‘ the blog has been compulsive reading/viewing, with a collection of shopfront photography going back many years. It should probably come with […]

The Fantastic World of Shopfrontelegy



Before and after of repainting of Stoakley & Son sign 11
This is the third and final post in a series documenting recent ghostsign restorations across the UK. It follows coverage of the Palladium Cinema restoration in Morecambe, and the repainting of the Larkspur Soft Drinks sign in Bradford. The focus this time is Cambridge and […]

Ghostsigns Restorations in Cambridge


Restored painted sign on a wall for Larkspur Drinks 4
This is the second of a series of three posts on current ghostsigns restorations in the UK, following last week’s piece on the Palladium Cinema sign in Morecambe. (See this This sign for Larkspur Soft Drinks is on King Street in Drighlington, West Yorkshire. The […]

Larkspur Restoration by Brian the Brush


Repainted sign on a wall advertising the Palladium Cinema 10
This is the first in a series of three blog posts documenting current activities in the UK to repaint and restore ghostsigns. It is worth referring to my general discussion of the issues and debates connected to this practice, a previous blog post titled ‘A […]

Restoration of Palladium Cinema Ghostsign in Morecambe