Ghostsigns in the UK

Ready for a big wall of advertising nostalgia? How about over 600 big walls? An article in last week’s Guardian looks at the Ghostsigns Archive, a new offering from the History of Advertising Trust. This archive tracks painted advertising on buildings across the UK.

It looks like the official site is but you can browse the signs at Signs are divided into several categories including Medical & Health, Food & Drink, and Shoes & Clothing.

Choose a category and you’ll get a gallery of signs with thumbnails. Detail pages include location, photographer, date taken, and a transcription of the sign if it’s necessary. I like how there’s a little thumbnail of the gallery so you can continue browsing from detail pages.

Since the idea is to document signage painted on buildings, and a lot of that signage is very old, the images vary a lot in quality. Some of them look like they were painted yesterday and some of them are barely readable.

If you want a larger pool of images than what’s here, you can get over 3700 (though perhaps not categorized as well) at the Ghostsigns Flickr group. And if you’re really interested in ghost signs, you can download a download a Google Spreadsheet of Ghostsigns Archive ad locations.

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