Sign Folk

Ghost sign people and personalities.


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The following article is re-posted from the original on Better Letters. This August we’ll be opening a very special sign painting exhibition within the public-facing part of Letterheads 2018: London Calling. It is being curated by Meredith Kasabian of Best Dressed Signs and the Pre-Vinylite […]

The Grand Exhibition of the Society of Sign Painters


[This book review is reposted from the original on the Better Letters blog.] “Signwriters are entitled to their immortality just as are other artists and craftsmen” – Kevin Corrigan Kearns, Dublin’s Vanishing Craftsmen Signwriting is perhaps the least documented of the lettering disciplines; it’s nature […]

Karl Blaschke: The Sign Man of Munich




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Independently of each other I have been sent photos of this beautiful Paris ghost signs by Wim Dammers and book contributor Leisa Clements. It is a remarkably elaborate piece of work, including picturials in other sections. This is isn’t surprising as it is advertising the […]

E. Gautier’s Beautiful Paris Ghost Signs





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Dr Ken Jones has been doing an incredible job documenting the ghostsigns of America via his American Ghosts project. Not only does this involve detailed photographic documentation (see previous post on his process), but also pinning ghostsigns onto an ever-growing map. This now pinpoints thousands […]

Ken Jones’ Butte Palimpsests



Craig Winslow is an experiential designer who has recently turned his gaze towards ghostsigns, and the creative possibilities offered by applying his expertise in light projection mapping. The idea first came to him during a trip across America and has grown since. In essence it […]

Light Capsules from Craig Winslow



Cover of Ghost Signs of Dublin by Antonia Hart and Lynn Nalty 1
Last year saw the publication of Ghost Signs of Dublin, to my knowledge the first book covering the subject in Ireland. It is the latest in the growing set of titles from The History Press, previously focused on the UK and USA. (See: Birmingham Alabama; […]

Ghost Signs of Dublin by Antonia Hart


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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


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




Montage of vintage signs from Scotland
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 […]

Scotland in Detail: Vintage Signs from Dave Cowan




Sign board advertising London screenings of Sign Painters and Horn Please 1
[Update: Read a review of the screenings here] I’m very excited to announce that The Sign Painter Movie is coming to London and will be screened alongside Horn Please on Wednesday, 5 February 2014 [Update: Sold Out, tickets now added for Thursday, 6 February and […]

Sign Painter Movie / Horn Please Double Bill



Ghostsign advertising Melbourne Shipping Company 2
Back in March I was in Melbourne where I checked out some of the ghostsigns the city has to offer in addition to giving a talk alongside Stephen Banham at the University. Some of this was thanks to a chauffeur-driven tour by Stefan Schutt (Finding […]

Melbourne’s Ghostsigns and their Hunters



Hand-painted sign saying 'Sign painters do it in 1 shot' 13
The Sign Painter Movie is now on tour with dates booked in until November, including Scotland and New Zealand for those outside the film’s USA base. I was treated to a preview screening and also got my hands on the book that accompanies the film. […]

Sign Painters: The movie, the book and the resurgence


Faux ghostsign for Cinquecento cafe 19
‘Faux’ ghostsigns are a relatively new phenomenon but are appearing with increasing frequency around the world. I invited Meredith Kasabian, of Boston’s Best Dressed Signs and The Pre-Vinylite Society, to share her thoughts given her and Josh Luke’s recent work on the example above. Several […]

Faux ghostsigns, authenticity and the passage of time: Guest post ...


'O to the Priory Church 1
Yesterday I had the pleasure of joining Phil Baines and Catherine Dixon on their latest Public Lettering walk, organised through the excellent St Bride Library events programme. As with my earlier walking tour in this part of London (Type Tour West) it started at the library but […]

Public lettering walk with Phil Baines and Catherine Dixon




Information flyer for ghost sign hunting seminar 2
I am very excited to announce a forthcoming seminar in which I will be speaking alongside Stephen Banham, author of Characters and something of a typographic legend, and Stefan Schutt, curator of the Lewis and Skinner archive and author of the Finding the Radio Book […]

Ghost Sign Hunting: Melbourne Seminar