UK



I recently (28 October) hosted ‘Font Sunday’ on Twitter with the theme of ‘fading fonts’ to mark the changing of the clocks and the fading light it signifies. Among the contributions made was a tweet from Eliza Brownjohn, daughter of the designer Robert Brownjohn (1925-1970) […]

London Street Level by Robert Brownjohn




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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





One of the ‘bonus’ stops on my Bankside Ghostsigns Walk is a pair of signs on the back The Borough Welsh Congregational Chapel (Doyce Street and Great Guildford Street). These convey the euphemistic line, ‘Commit No Nuisance‘, which translates to ‘please don’t urinate here’. Many […]

Commit Some Nuisance for Bankside


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


My father-in-law discovered this astonishing collection of high quality photography showing the high street in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, in 1888. They were photographed by Joseph Lewis della-Porta who came from a retailing family and had the foresight to document these images which convey so much of […]

Shropshire Shop Fronts of the 1880s





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







Michelle Heron is a London-based painter with a paticular fascination for old shops and shop fronts. Her paintings depict iconic fascias, many of which have been lost since she turned her attention to them, and some that survive in a state of perpetual uncertainty. As […]

Michelle Heron’s Fantastic Fascias



Back in 2016 I gave a short talk about my archiving work at the annual conference of the Business Archives Council, where one of the organisers was a project archivist for Boots chemists.  Afterwards I shared the above image and forwarded her the archival photo […]

Tracking Down Boots in Stoke-on-Trent



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Following my talk to the Clapham Society last summer we are joining forces, with Roy Reed, to develop a walk exploring the many ghost signs visible on and around Clapham High Street. We are currently carrying out a mixture of archival and web-based research into […]

Ghostsigns of Clapham, a Forthcoming Walk





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