Year: 2010

Kratie Barbers hand painted sign Cambodia


As you may have seen from my post last month I’m now based in Cambodia for the next two years. While I haven’t yet come across many hand painted signs on walls the hand painted form is alive and well here. They are everywhere I go, offering simple illustrations for those who can’t read and …

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Watermans Ideal Fountain Pen


“Change is inevitable – except from a vending machine.” Robert C. Gallagher Cambodia As some of you will have heard, things are changing in my life and, consequently, with the Ghostsigns Project. This coming Thursday I will be travelling to Cambodia to join my wife who is already there getting ready for our two year …

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Summer 2010

Bile Beans: Balm Road, Leeds Photographer: Richard Turner In my speech at the HAT archive launch I said that I felt it would be just the start of an ongoing documentation of hand painted advertising of old. Sure enough, the archive and associated publicity surrounding its opening have led to many new contributors getting in …

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Garden Mural, Earlham Street, Stephen Pusey 1977

London Mural Preservation Society

At last week’s Sign Design Society talk I met Ruth who has started an initiative aimed at raising awareness, researching, restoring and protecting the many hand painted murals that can be found dotted across the capital.  These were generally initiated as community arts projects and Ruth has been tracking down the artists who once produced …

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Thumbnails Map

This is pretty cool (inspired from the comments on here), pulling the geotagged Creative Commons images out of the Ghostsigns Pool on Flickr.  Thoughts, feedback, comments and suggestions welcomed ( Click the picture for the dynamic version (may take a few seconds to load) and find a Ghostsign near you…


Photo: Paul Turner Another one bites the dust, this time for Blue Star/Regent in Lincoln. This sign had real star quality, if you’ll excuse the pun, and featured from the Travel & Transport gallery in the series of postcards produced to celebrate the opening of the HAT archive. This is another piece of evidence for …

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Telegraph 22nd August 2010 First Page


A nice feature in this Sunday’s Telegraph documents many jobs that are gradually disappearing, including that of the advertising signwriter alongside rag and bone men, matchgirls and airbrush artists (pre-photoshop) among others. Written by Peter Lyle the signwriting piece focuses on Wayne Tanswell, contemporary signwriter, and a brief quote from me about the habit that …

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Specter street art covers Boyd Pianos ghostsign

Street Art

sarflondondunc, ever alert to the gradual shifts in our Ghostsigns landscape, alerted me to this new piece of street art positioned on the great gold leaf Boyd Pianos sign on Shacklewell Lane, Hackney. It’s by the Canadian artist Specter and is part of the ‘If I saw you in heaven’ project. This attempts to “address the …

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Photo: Creative Review Photo: Creative Review Creative Review and a few others have spotted this new outdoor campaign for Anchor Butter.  When I first saw the photos I assumed they were genuine hand painted ads but they are actually printed billboards which, in the case of the press shots, are cleverly cropped to suggest otherwise. …

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