Ghostsigns talk at St Bride Library

Sam Roberts will be bringing the Ghostsigns project to London’s St Bride Library in November in his first UK talk on the History of Advertising Trust’s growing archive of signpainting

Bovril ghostsign photographed by Sam Roberts

Sam Roberts will be bringing the Ghostsigns project to London’s St Bride Library in November in his first UK talk on the History of Advertising Trust’s growing archive of signpainting…

Ghostsigns is a nationwide effort to photograph and archive the remaining examples of hand-painted wall advertising in the UK and Ireland.

Painted directly onto the brickwork of buildings, these faded advertisements from yesteryear have since been at the mercy of demolition, development and, of course, the weather – and have been disappearing fast.

S Errington ghostsign photographed by Sam Roberts

But Roberts has been archiving as many examples as he can find on behalf of the History of Advertising Trust, and compiling an online archive at hatads.org.uk. CR featured a selection of images from the project in the Monograph that came with the April 2010 issue.

Over 800 ghostsigns have now been collected and Roberts will talk through some of the highlights in a talk at St Bride Library in London on Wednesday 20 November.

Craven A cigarettes ghostsign photographed by Sam Roberts

“Alongside advertisements for Hovis, Nestle and Boots are others for Bile Beans, Puck Matches and Peterkin’s Custard,” says HAT. “The collections also showcase the styles and techniques employed by the craftsmen responsible for producing the signs.

“The diversity of lettering forms and illustration highlight the skill and flair that each signwriter once brought to their work, in contrast to the ‘carbon copy’ posters of today.”

Sam Roberts presents Ghostsigns at St Bride Library, London on 20 November (7pm-9.30pm). Tickets (£15, concessions and student prices available) are here. See hatads.org.uk and ghostsigns.co.uk.

The October issue of Creative Review is available to buy direct from us here. Better yet, subscribe, get Monograph and make sure that you never miss out on a copy – you’ll save money too. Details here.

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