Sign Preservation

Preserving, protecting and restoring ghost signs.



A couple of years ago these two well-preserved ghost signs were revealed in Paris (see Streetview), presumably by the removal of billboards that covered and protected them. [Update via Caroline’s Miscelleny: The uncovering was in 2012, and the works can be seen underway in the […]

Two Paris Beauties Under Wraps


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Earlier this year I was lucky to attend the launch of Lost & Foundry, a collection of fonts created and published by Fontsmith in collaboration with M&C Saatchi. They are inspired by various of pieces of historic signage in Soho, and funds raised from their […]

Fonts Inspired by Ghost (and other) Signs



In Deptford, South East London, the processes of development/gentrification are having an impact on the area’s walls, including ghost signs. The following is cribbed from two Twitter threads, here and here, largely focused on the Deptford Market Yard. First up is this shelter sign from […]

It’s All Popping Off in Deptford Market Yard


The above fragment of a ghost sign was revealed by the demolition of the adjascent building in Melbourne in 2014, as documented by Al Briggs at RMIT… “The majority of existing ghost signs that remain in suburban Melbourne are signs that were originally painted on […]

Recycling & Rearranging Ghost Signs


[This is a reposting of the original blog post on Better Letters.] Since 1996 Las Vegas’ Neon Museum has put the city’s decommissioned signage on display in its ‘bone yard’ exhibit. It was already a ‘must visit’ lettering location but has now been boosted by […]

Brilliant at Las Vegas’ Neon Museum



Continuing the occassional exploration of ‘ancient’ signs, I was thrilled to hear of this evidence that Neanderthals were busy painting the walls of caves across Spain. This species, almost dubbed Homo Stupidus (yes, stupid man!), were not previously known for this type of cultural activity, […]

64,000-Year-Old Neanderthal Cave Paintings


Pickles Street in Melbourne was once home to the Joshua Brothers Distillery, and later United Distillers. The latter adorned the building with a series of painted bottles depicting the products that they distributed in Australia. The pieces were painted in the 1960s by signwriter Keith […]

The Enduring Legacy of the Joshua Brothers Distillery


The restoration of ghost signs seems to be becoming more prevalent in the UK, or perhaps I’m just more conscious of them taking place. While I don’t document every instance, I thought that this one had an interesting back story, as shared by Stefan Lewis […]

Evans, Jones & Ricketts Restoration in Talgarth, Mid Wales




The list below of painted advertisements in Islington was compiled in the hope that some of those reading it might write in with additional locations not known to the compiler, and in the belief that painted advertisements in other parts of London would make a […]

Painted Advertisements in Islington: Part 4


The list below of painted advertisements in Islington was compiled in the hope that some of those reading it might write in with additional locations not known to the compiler, and in the belief that painted advertisements in other parts of London would make a […]

Painted Advertisements in Islington: Part 3



The list below of painted advertisements in Islington was compiled in the hope that some of those reading it might write in with additional locations not known to the compiler, and in the belief that painted advertisements in other parts of London would make a […]

Painted Advertisements in Islington: Part 2



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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On one of my recent Bankside Ghostsigns Walks an Australian guest tipped me off about the recent restoration of a famous Dingo Flour ghost sign in Fremantle, Australia. This was undertaken at the end of 2016 with a grant from the Western Australian Heritage Council. […]

Dingo Flour Restoration in Fremantle Australia


Above is my 2007 photo of the Brymay/John Bull palimpsest on Quernmore Road in Haringey. At the time, in addition to wondering who John Bull was, I said I needed to go back in the winter when the tree would be less obstructive. I did […]

Quernmore Road Signs & Ghostsigns Cluster


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I am conducting a small investigation into the ghostsigns of Islington and am appealing for help from readers of this blog. The map below (view full screen) will form the basis for this, in the context of the following notes. Recently while going through old […]

Painted Advertisements in Islington: Part 1



Fading painted sign on a wall advertising Daren Bread 1
‘Ask for Daren Bread’ was once the simple slogan on this ghostsign on Avignon Road, London, SE4. The above image was taken by Lisa Edwards in 2007, sourced here in the History of Advertising Trust Ghostsigns Archive. The site was likely a former bakery, sourcing […]

When Daren Became Hovis: A Bizarre Ghostsigns ‘Restoration’



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