Sign Making

Painting and sign making techniques.


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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


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These pictorial panels depicting the products and services on what is now The Old Dairy on Stoud Green Road have always intrigued me, and ahead of next week’s talk at the North London Lettering Association I thought I should carry out a little research. The […]

Sgraffito and the Old Dairy at Crouch Hill


Simon Memel sent me a link to this article on Dezeen by Owen Hatherley about an odd thing that has just happened on Walthamstow High Street. The council has funded the standardisation of shop front signage, leading to the loss of shops’ individual character. I […]

Cookie Cutter Shops on Walthamstow High Street




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Guests on my Stoke Newington Ghostsigns Walk in early 2015 were lucky to see a bonus fading fascia en route, advertising The Vacuum Shop. This was revealed by works to the Anglo Asian restaurant, which now straddles numbers 60 and 62 Stoke Newington Church Street. […]

The Vacuum Shop and George Braun


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This ghostsign on Stoke Newington High Street comes at about the halfway point of my walking tour through the area. It is a palimpsest which has been well researched by Sébastien Ardouin. I recently took a couple of close-up photos, one of which has added […]

John Hawkins, Steeles & Chaney Signs



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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





Remains of painted Victorian lettering 10
While creating this beautiful new signage for Casa Blue, Ash Bishop of The Brilliant Sign Co. alerted me to an astonishing discovery inside the premises of this newly converted bar. It is a fragment of some Victorian painted lettering, which Ash proposes dates from the […]

History Repeating: A Stunning Reveal on Bethnal Green Road



Layout of painted sign on paper for Cabury Bournville Cocoa
The Lewis & Skinner archive is a collection of materials relating to the work of a Melbourne signwriting company from the first half of the last century. These were fortuitously discovered by Dr Stefan Schutt last year and he has since been working to archive […]

Lewis & Skinner Exhibit Featuring Ghostsigns and Live Signwriting



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 ...









Hand painted counter with the words, "Who let the dogs in...who...who...who?"
Walldog is the nickname given to those that once roamed the USA painting signs and slogans on brick walls, roadside barns and any other surface capable of providing a canvass for their advertising art. The International Walldog Mural & Sign Art Museum is a celebration of […]

The International Walldog Mural & Sign Art Museum


Signpainter applying red paint to coca cola sign on a white wall 2
The Salisbury Ghost Sign Restoration Project is an initiative of three enthusiasts in North Carolina. They have recently unveiled their first two restorations, both for Coca-Cola signs, so I thought it was time to catch up with one of the trio, Justin Dionne to find […]

Salisbury Ghost Sign Restoration Project



Screen shot of hand painted sign by Derek McDonald of Golden West Sign Arts
Another signpainter profiled on film, this time Derek McDonald of Golden West Sign Arts, one of the craftsman who worked on this year’s ‘Declaration of Independence’ campaign for Jack Daniel’s. More from Derek in this extended article from Oakland North. Is it just me or […]

Derek McDonald film and interview


Horse heads cave painting from the Chauvet cave Ardèche 4
I’ve become increasingly intrigued by the origins of painting on walls, and the evolution of the form over time, up to the current vogue for street art.  While the walls of caves were not made of brick, they did nonetheless provide people with an early […]

The origins of painting on walls


Still from a film by Marco Puccini 1
In a slight departure from painted lettering here is a film by Marco Puccini showcasing some flamboyant examples of inked lettering using a variety of calligraphy tools.  While on the subject, it is also worth checking out this film profiling master calligrapher Paul Antonio on […]

Flamboyant calligraphy from Luca Barcellona & Francesca Biasetton