Sign Preservation

Preserving, protecting and restoring ghost signs.

RIP: 154 Bishopsgate EC2

This elegant painted sign adorning the stonework above the entrance to 154 Bishopsgate, London EC2, is no more, recently replaced by mounted metal letters (see picture below). Although it isn’t what most would refer to as a ghostsign (see my chapter, What is a Ghost Sign?, in this forthcoming book), it was a striking and …

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RIP: H. Callcut & Son

The H. Callcut & Son sign that once adorned this house front has now been whitewashed (see below). It was on Blackstock Road in North London, close to my old primary school, so I was quite sad to see this familiar landmark lost to property development. The photo above, and the details below were taken …

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The Cat gets the Cream in this Clacton-on-Sea Reveal

[28 July 2015 – This post updated with new images and comments below] This stunning reveal in Clacton-on-Sea in Essex features three ghostsigns. In sequence these are for Ambrosia, Black Cat Cigarettes and a tea rooms, captured here by Ed Loach. Their appearance has caught the eye of many locals, with calls for their protection …

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RIP: Signwriters – Gilding & Pictorial Artists

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 a terrace on Southgate Road, De Beauvoir, but has now …

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Painting on walls in Pompeii & Herculaneum

Signs & Frescoes in Pompeii & Herculaneum

When I give talks on the history of signs painted on walls I often refer to their ancient history, going back at least as far as Roman times. Evidence for this comes from the ruins at Pompeii and Herculaneum as seen before on these photos shared with me by Will Collin five years ago. (Ancient …

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Painted sign on a wall covered by a perspex sheet

Perspex Protecting Ghostsigns from Barcelona to Sydney

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 is not a new approach but one that I think …

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Ghostsigns