Australia


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


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


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Back in March last year I had the pleasure of taking two groups from Melbourne’s RMIT on my Stoke Newington Ghostsigns Walk. This was the second time I’ve worked with the University on their special European study tour and, again, it was a really enjoyable […]

On Tour with Albani Calusin and RMIT



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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


Painted sign for Heleys Drinks 3
Stuart Walsh got in touch from Mildura, on the edge of the Australian Outback, following the ghostsigns feature in the Guardian. What he sent me really caught my eye and he has kindly let me share some of his photos here on the blog. Here’s […]

Ghostsigns of Mildura, on the Edge of the Outback


Painted sign on a wall covered by a perspex sheet 5
This ghostsign for Peters Ice Cream in Sydney was photographed and shared by Mike Meyer while in Australia running signwriting workshops with Better Letters. It has been covered by a perspex sheet, presumably to protect it from vandalism and, to a degree, the elements. It […]

Perspex Protecting Ghostsigns from Barcelona to Sydney



Painted sign fading on a wall advertising Teinturerie des Penitents
A new book from Steven Heller and Gail Anderson features a handful of my ghostsigns photos from around the world (London, Cambodia, France and Australia). Typographic Universe documents a variety of ‘found’ letters in the environment, people and animals, alongside the creation of letters from […]

Ghostsigns in the Typographic Universe


Fading sign painted on a wall advertising Dr King 1
This Melbourne ghostsign is a recent reveal and was captured by Nick Gadd, the writer behind Melbourne Circle. Nick’s research into the sign was recently published in an anthology of papers titled ‘Melbourne Subjective‘. He investigates the sign and creates a tentative hypothesis about who […]

Dr King: The Story of a Melbourne Ghostsign by Nick ...




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


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


No.2 Sign Painting shop from Greatest Wonder of the World Exhibition
While on my recent travels I was lucky enough to stumble upon The Greatest Wonder of the World exhibition at the State Library of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. The banner outside in big gold letters of various scripts obviously attracted my attention, and […]

The Greatest Wonder of the World



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



Hand painted sign on a building in Melbourne advertising Jans Bros 1
Finding the Radio Book is a fascinating piece of work being undertaken by Dr Stefan Schutt of Victoria University. It all started with a piece of paper floating in the wind and has now evolved into a research project focussed on the archival records of […]

Melbourne’s Ghostsigns with Finding the Radio Book



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


Hand painted sign on a former milk bar in Australia
This is one of the shop signs found in this article which profiles the decline in Melbourne’s Milk Bars, retail outlets that once dotted the streets.  The article features a collection of 22 other shop signs and fascias and was spotted by Stef on the […]

Melbourne’s Milk Bars and the signs that adorned them


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Photo: Stephen Banham (Makes me want some Monty Leisurewear!) Full article here mainly focused on the hide and seek nature of many ghostsigns, including this line which echoes mine and Sebastian Groes’ urging against nostalgia: Instead of feeling mournful about the demise or entombing of these […]

Australian ghostsigns profiled in this 2008 Stephen Banham article




Hand painted sign on a building in Australia advertising HMV 1
This report, Conserving Historic Signs, was written in 2002 and published by the Heritage Office, Department of Planning, State of New South Wales in 2006. I was alerted to it by Jos Peeters and it is a detailed and fascinating account of some of the considerations […]

Conservation guidelines for ghostsigns in Australia