Book


[This book review is reposted from the original on the Better Letters blog.] “Signwriters are entitled to their immortality just as are other artists and craftsmen” – Kevin Corrigan Kearns, Dublin’s Vanishing Craftsmen Signwriting is perhaps the least documented of the lettering disciplines; it’s nature […]

Karl Blaschke: The Sign Man of Munich


Over the years I’ve tried to seek out and review books about ghost signs here on the blog. Here is a set of recommendations drawn from these, focused on those in English. In a future blog post I’ll feature work published in other languages. 1 […]

Five of the Best: Books about Ghost Signs




Fading Ads of Gloucester extends the current series from the History Press in the UK, USA, and Ireland. The material has been researched and gathered by Chris West, graphic designer for the publisher. The format of the titles in the series varies but this one […]

Fading Ads of Gloucester by Chris West





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Advertising & Public Memory is the first scholarly book focused on ghostsigns. It was a labour of love across much of 2015, work that included editing others’ work, as well as contributing to some of the writing inside, notably an attempt to answer the question […]

Advertising & Public Memory: Social, Cultural and Historical Perspectives on ...



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One month ago I attended the launch of Ghostletters Vienna at the Wien Museum in Austria’s capital city. The book was conceived, written and produced by Tom Koch, alongside photographers Daniel Gerersdorfer and Stephan Doleschal. It got off the ground with two crowdsourcing efforts, one […]

Ghostsigns & Ghostletters of Vienna



Looking barely aged since it was painted in 1963, this fabulous ghostsign for Kotanyi Paprika has just been revealed in Vienna, Austria. The demolition of the adjacent building fortuitously precedes the publication of Ghost Letters of Vienna, and happened just in time to make it […]

Kotanyi Paprika: Stunning Vienna Reveal





Cover of Ghost Signs of Dublin by Antonia Hart and Lynn Nalty 1
Last year saw the publication of Ghost Signs of Dublin, to my knowledge the first book covering the subject in Ireland. It is the latest in the growing set of titles from The History Press, previously focused on the UK and USA. (See: Birmingham Alabama; […]

Ghost Signs of Dublin by Antonia Hart


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


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This ghostsign advertising Roxy’s Hunting Goods did for Lawrence O’Toole what the Stoke Newington Fount Pens sign did for me. It sensitised him to the presence of ghostsigns in the urban environment, and started a programme of activity that would lead to the publication of […]

Fading Ads of Philadelphia by Lawrence O’Toole




Cover of the book Fading Ads of St. Louis by Wm. Stage
This stunning photograph is from the cover of Wm. Stage‘s latest addition to the ghostsigns literature, ‘Fading Ads of St. Louis‘. Stage’s first book, ‘Ghost Signs‘, remains the definitive text on the topic and so it is no surprise to find his latest work full […]

Fading Ads of St. Louis by Wm. Stage


Restored painted sign advertising Knis & Gunnink coffee and tea house in Kampen 8
Tekens Aan De Wand (Writing on the Wall) is a book documenting the collective efforts of local historical societies across the Netherlands to restore ghostsigns. It is published by Trichis and features over 170 pages of beautiful painted signage, graphic design and archival photography. Sadly […]

Tekens Aan De Wand: Ghostsign Restoration in the Netherlands



Montréal street scene with ghostsign in archival image 1
‘Sur les murs‘ (‘on the walls’) is the first book about ghostsigns to come out of Canada. It is a French language publication, as it is set in Montréal, but contains many English language signs. This reflects the bilingual history of the city and the […]

‘Sur Les Murs’: Montréal’s Bilingual Ghostsigns


Cover of Fading Ads of Birmingham book by Charles Buchanan and Jonathan Purvis 3
Birmingham, Alabama, is the location for this addition to the ghostsigns literature from resident advertising expert and artist Charles Buchanan. For a city founded as recently as 1871 there is a rich history found on its walls, one that Buchanan has diligently researched and which […]

Fading Ads of Birmingham by Charles Buchanan and Jonathan Purvis


Hand-painted sign saying 'Sign painters do it in 1 shot' 13
The Sign Painter Movie is now on tour with dates booked in until November, including Scotland and New Zealand for those outside the film’s USA base. I was treated to a preview screening and also got my hands on the book that accompanies the film. […]

Sign Painters: The movie, the book and the resurgence