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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 to the oldest in Europe which are in Spain. Read […]

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Photograph: Kinez Riza

Signs of Cambodia, A.S. Handover, London N16, 6 - 7 December 2014, 10am - 5pm.

Signs of Cambodia: Free London Exhibition

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 of my book, Hand-Painted Signs of Kratie. Here are the […]

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Ghostsigns of Mildura, on the Edge of the Outback 1

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 a little of what he told me about the city, […]

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Painted sign for Heleys Drinks

Painted sign on a wall covered by a perspex sheet

Perspex Protecting Ghostsigns from Barcelona to Sydney 4

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 is not a new approach but one that I think […]

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Ghostsigns in Coventry 3

Last week I was invited to give a talk about ghostsigns to students at the Design & Visual Arts department of the Coventry School of Art & Design. While I was in the area I thought I’d look up any ghostsigns that I could find in the History of Advertising Trust archive, and the flickr […]

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Perhaps the most famous and prominent of the city's ghostsigns is this one for Nestle. The sun was just setting when I snapped it.

Painted sign fading on a wall advertising Teinturerie des Penitents

Ghostsigns in the Typographic Universe

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 everyday objects. These are split across ten themed sections with […]

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Ghostsigns in Amsterdam & Some Repainted

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 that features in the book Tekens Aan De Wand. Below […]

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Painted sign on a wall for A.v.Wees Cola Drink

Large piece of painted advertising fading on a wall

Ghostsigns Walking Tours: One Year On

This time last year I was setting out with my crash test dummies on the first ever Ghostsigns Walking Tour in Stoke Newington, London. It went well enough for me to continue running them and I’ve now taken the walk 24 times, with 220 people, leading to 42 (not so bad) ratings for the tour […]

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Fading Ads of Philadelphia by Lawrence O’Toole 1

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 his book, Fading Ads of Philadelphia. He still regards it […]

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Fading-Ads-of-Philadelphia

Painted advertisement on a gable end for Puck Matches

Puck Matches: Archival Photo of a Gable End

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 was once a Bryant & May brand. Both Puck and […]

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