Blog




Photo: Ed Loach 1
[28 July 2015 – This post updated with new images and comments below] This stunning reveal in Clacton-on-Sea in Essex features three ghostsigns. In sequence these are for Ambrosia, Black Cat Cigarettes and a tea rooms, captured here by Ed Loach. Their appearance has caught […]

The Cat gets the Cream in this Clacton-on-Sea Reveal



Ambridge-Signs-Southgate-Road-5 1
This beautiful gilded script once marked the home of Ambridge Signs. When they left the premises the sign didn’t come with them and, until last month, it provided a reminder of the area’s signwriting heritage. It was situated on this unassuming building at the end of […]

RIP: Signwriters – Gilding & Pictorial Artists


Part of shop fascia lettering showing through blackwash
I’d always noticed number 77 Shacklewell Lane because of the ghostsign below. Although very faint, it appears to advertise a business called/run by Grime. Below this was a blacked out shop fascia, overlooking the bus stop. Back in January I was cycling past and had […]

J.R.Brewer, the Butcher


E.Mono Shop Front 2
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 in North London



List of cities with branches of Dan Wuille & Co
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 […]

Glasgow Ghostsigns Galore



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

Writing on the Whale and Other Novelties



Restoration Period spread from 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 in the Monotype Recorder






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