Archive for the ‘Sign Photography’ Category

10 Stunning Ghost Sign Photographs

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In a time long before digital printing and software based sign design, commercial signs were hand painted. But not to be attached to a wall or post – advertising was painted directly onto the walls of thriving industrial cities around the world.
We featured one of these painted signs back in our first Inspiring Sign Photography post and felt it was appropriate that these fading advertisements, once hand painted onto brick walls, were given a post of their own.

It was in the early 20th century that this type of sign was created by businesses wishing to publicise their products and services. Commercial signs have come a long way since this period, but many of the hand painted signs live on and can be seen all over the UK, France and the United States. The signs are now known as Ghost Signs due to their weathered and faded appearance, in addition to the fact that many have outlived the brands which they set out to publicise.

Panda Paints

by mdaines

The Ghostsigns Archive has documented over 700 examples which can be viewed at the History of Advertising Trust. In addition, Flickr has a Ghost Signs group with over 14,000 photos in its pool.

If you want to see more incredible photos of signage from the past, read our post on Inspiring Sign Photography.

Written by Create-Signs

May 13th, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Posted in Sign Photography

Inspiring Sign Photography: Old But Not Forgotten

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What can possibly be inspiring about an old, unkempt sign barely clinging to the wall on which it hangs by a few screws, now dark brown with rust?

Surprisingly, the basic components of a well made commercial sign haven’t changed for many years. Trends have come and gone but some of these signs are no less effective than any modern sign – we’ve just moved on in design trends and technology.

Perhaps then, we can learn from the simplicity of sign design from the past – brand name, logo and slogan standing out proudly, with a few bold colours to catch the eye of a passer by.

So, here are some examples of old signs which encapsulate simplistic design, while powerfully advertising a brand.

Still going, but old sign

by Hugo90

In the early 20th century, motorsport was beginning to take off around the world. Old commercial signs for motor oil can still be found in almost any country.

Quaker State

by Hugo90

Soft carbonated drinks have been around for a long time and heavily advertised during the 20th century. Coca Cola started in 1888, Pepsi in 1903 and 7 Up in 1929 (originally publicised with the catchy name, Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda).

You can check out more photos in the Old British Signs and I Love Old Signs! Flickr groups.

Written by Create-Signs

February 3rd, 2011 at 2:49 pm