A Book About Ghost Signs

I am on the editorial panel for a book due for publication next year. Although it will be too late to find a place on the shelf at Bath’s Circulating Library (above), the topic for the book is ghost signs with the working title of ‘Ghost Signs: Historical, Social and Cultural Perspectives on Fading Advertising’. […]


Fading painted sign on a wall advertising Bisleri Ferro-China and Remy Martin Cognac

Five Amazing Egyptian Ghostsigns from Iman Abdulfattah

If you don’t already follow Frank Jump’s Fading Ad blog then I’d highly recommend you do so. Frank is a long-time friend and author of the book about New York’s widespread collection of fading ads. His ‘Uptown Correspondent‘ is Iman Abdulfattah and recently he has been posting her material from Cairo, Egypt, where she spends […]


Fading Ads of St. Louis by Wm. Stage

This stunning photograph is from the cover of Wm. Stage‘s latest addition to the ghostsigns literature, ‘Fading Ads of St. Louis‘. Stage’s first book, ‘Ghost Signs‘, remains the definitive text on the topic and so it is no surprise to find his latest work full of fantastic photography and meticulous research. In this case Stage […]

Cover of the book Fading Ads of St. Louis by Wm. Stage

Montage of vintage signs from Scotland

Scotland in Detail: Vintage Signs from Dave Cowan

This fabulous montage of Scottish ghostsigns was created by Dave Cowan of Scotland in Detail. It is available as a print from his store and he says the following of his work and this creation. I’ve been fascinated by these old signs for a few years now. They’re glimpses into the past and it’s a […]


Ghostsigns of Minnesota and the Mid-West

Earlier this month I went on my first ever trip to the USA. This was to attend ‘Mazeppa Mardi Gras’, a meeting of the Letterheads in sub-zero Minnesota. It was a fantastic week of sign making and painting and you can read a full blown account of the week over on the Better Letters site. […]

Squirt, Wabasha, MN

RE Ringer General Merchandise store front

Moving Walls to Save a Ghostsign

In an effort to save this fading and rusting shop front, Beth and Tony Walls moved the entire building 150ft to allow for a highway widening project. Martin Garfinkel of Roadside Gallery has captured it beautifully in this fine art print, available to buy here. Martin tells the story as follows. RE Ringer General Merchandise, […]


Introducing Better Letters

In the course of my research into painted signs over the last eight years I have become increasingly aware of the brilliant work that is being done by contemporary signwriters (sign painters in the USA). This started with the early profiling of the Shop Local campaign by Bob & Roberta Smith and was swiftly followed […]

Better Letters Logo

Hand-painted shop fascia for D.Appell

D.Appell Fascia Revealed by the Valentine’s Day Storm

Ghostsigns are regularly revealed by property development and the updating or removal of billboards. This is the first instance I’ve come across of the weather, in this case the wind, leading to a shop fascia becoming visible once again. The ‘Valentine’s Day Storm’ last Friday ripped the Roti Stop sign off this corner building, leaving […]


Two fading painted signs advertising B.B.Te and Van Houten Cacao

Danish Ghostsigns in Copenhagen 4

Ghostsigns are a truly global phenomenon and the latest installment on my virtual travels comes courtesy of Hanne Andersen from Copenhagen, Denmark. She says that it’s her ‘hobby to find them’ and the evidence here is that the Danish were no slouches when it came to producing large-scale painted wall advertisements. As in the UK, […]