Sign Collections

Ghost sign archives and collections.

Ghost Signs of Montreal & Ottawa from John Toohey

Ghost signs in Montreal, Canada, are an interesting category, due to the bilingual nature of the city and wider region of Quebec. This idiosyncracy has been covered in ‘Sur les murs‘ by Réjane Bougé. (Lovely photographs, contemporary and archival, but sadly the text is only in French!). John Toohey has been documenting some of the …

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Now Open: The Grand Exhibition of the Pre-Vinylite Society

The Grand Exhibition of the Pre-Vinylite Society is now showing for four days at the Bargehouse, behind the OXO Tower on London’s South Bank. Visitors can take in the c.30 pieces from an international cast of contemporary sign and lettering artists, each inspired by entries in the catalogue of the 1762 Grand Exhibition of the …

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Social Decay from Andrei Lacatusu

Digital artist Andrei Lacatusu has created Social Decay, a series of images depicting a possible future of washed-up digital companies and their derelict signs. They are ‘faux’, although in a different sense to those that I’ve documented in the past. An article on Digital Arts contrasts them “to the slick, shiny digital versions we see …

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Brilliant at Las Vegas’ Neon Museum

[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 an innovative treatment of the historic pieces found there. Craig …

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The Grand Exhibition of the Society of Sign Painters

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 Society and builds on her research into an 18th Century …

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The Shopfronts of ‘Paris Re-Tale’

After publishing the wonderful photos of one-time Paris sign business E. Gautier, I was alerted to this project and the above video where the sign makes a brief cameo. Five of my favourites below, but make sure you check out the full collection, including background notes, by photographer Sebastian Erras for Pixartprinting.

Michelle Heron’s Fantastic Fascias

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 with my own work on ghostsigns, Michelle is focused on …

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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 useful, educative and rewarding topic for those, whether private enthusiasts …

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