26 Feb 2013

Ghost Sign Hunting: Melbourne Seminar

I am very excited to announce a forthcoming seminar in which I will be speaking alongside Stephen Banham, author of Characters and something of a typographic legend, and Stefan Schutt, curator of the Lewis and Skinner archive and author of the Finding the Radio Book blog. It will be held on the afternoon/evening of Tuesday, 12th March in Melbourne, Australia, full details available below and on this flyer. It’s free and all are invited so please come along if you can (don’t forget to RSVP) and pass on the details to those who might be interested.

(PS. I’ve been having something of a break following the publication of my first book at the end of last year. Normal ghostsigns blogging service will be resumed upon my return to the UK in mid April, after my current travels. I am posting occasionally to Facebook and Twitter so don’t forget to friend/follow there for stuff in the meantime.)

Ghost sign hunting: the new fascination with old hand-painted advertising signs

In London, Detroit, Melbourne and other large cities around the world, people are on the hunt for ‘ghost signs’: traces of old advertising signs painted onto walls. Cameras and mobile devices in hand, they capture these traces and share them in their thousands on social media and, increasingly, in books. What makes these remnants so fascinating? Nostalgia? Urban change and its discontents? The appeal of a forgotten craft? The re-imagining of familiar places?

Exploring what ghost signs can tell us about how we live with and experience diverse cultures and histories of place and image, this seminar will feature expert international and local perspectives, plus open discussion, from:

Stephen Banham (Melbourne): Called a ‘typographic evangelist’ by London’s Eye magazine, Stephen Banham is the  founder of type studio Letterbox. His typographic explorations centre on the social and cultural aspects of letterforms. With over 17 publications on typography, Banham’s 2011 book, Characters: Cultural stories revealed through typography (www.characters.net.au)  focuses on Melbourne signs. Banham lectures at RMIT University and holds a Master of Design. In 2011 he was awarded a Creative Fellowship at the State Library of Victoria.

Sam Roberts (London): Sam Roberts is an authority on hand-painted signs. In 2010 he launched the History of Advertising Trust Ghostsigns Archive which records advertising on walls from across the UK and Ireland. Sam has written numerous articles for design, advertising and academic publications, as well as contributions to books about ghost signs from the USA and the UK. His Ghostsigns blog is here: www.ghostsigns.co.uk  In 2012 he published Hand-Painted Signs of Kratie, about the street advertising of Cambodia.

Stefan Schutt (Melbourne): Stefan is s a research program leader at Victoria University’s Centre for Cultural Diversity and Wellbeing, and the creator of an online archive of 10,000 abandoned documents from the former Melbourne signwriting firm Lewis & Skinner, which operated from the early 1900s to the 1960s (www.lewisandskinner.com) He also writes a blog about Melbourne ghost signs (http://findingtheradiobook.blogspot.com). Stefan holds a PhD from RMIT University and is a Berry Family Fellow with the State Library of Victoria.

Level 17 Artspace, VU City Flinders Campus, 300 Flinders St, Melbourne

Tuesday 12 March, 4.00pm – 7.00pm

Free – refreshments provided

RSVP: polly.probert@vu.edu.au by Thursday 7 March

Enquiries: 99194362

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