Ghost Signs: A London Story

Ghost Signs: A London Story by Sam Roberts and Roy Reed

About the Book

Ghost signs are fascinating pieces of urban archaeology. Imposing yet hidden in plain sight, these faded advertisements are London’s history written on to the contemporary cityscape. They reveal fascinating stories of everyday life in the capital and each sign has its own tale to tell – not just of the business it represents and the people behind it, but of its own improbably survival.

A feast of history, typography and the urban environment, Ghost Signs: A London Story showcases London’s most impressive and historically significant faded painted signs, located, photographed and presented with archival andother contextual images.

Introduced by Wayne Hemingway MBE, the opening section shares insights into topics such as production techniques, economics and preservation. The themed chapters take on subjects including building, clothing, entertaining, branding and, ultimately, burying the city.

  • ISBN: 978-0-9954886-9-4
  • Published in October 2021 by Isola Press
  • 255 × 195mm portrait
  • 320pp
  • 350< photos
  • 40,000< words

Buy the Book

Ghost Signs: A London Story is available to order directly from the publisher’s web shop.

For those in the EU it is available via the Better Letters webshop.

You can encourage your local bookshop to stock the book by placing an order using ISBN 978-0995488694.

The book is also available via: Waterstones; Amazon UK; Amazon France; Amazon Germany; Amazon India; Amazon Italy; Amazon Japan; Amazon Netherlands; Amazon Spain.

Join the Launch

To celebrate the book’s publication we are holding a free online launch via zoom. This will take place from 7:30pm London time on Monday 15th November. A zoom account and registration is required.

Explore the Map

In addition to the 250+ ghost signs in the book, we have created an accompanying google map with over 750 in total. This includes a number of suggested itineraries where groups of signs can be seen along a walking route.

Look Inside