Design Desk

From the Design Desk: Ghost Signage

Sprinkled throughout the neighborhood surrounding Chronicle Books are little reminders of the past—typographic treasures scrawled on the sides of buildings. Faded by years of weathering, the signage from previous tenants tells the story of what was, and what might have been.

While some owners opt to paint over these signs and start anew, many others seem to embrace these leave-behinds and allow them to live on. It is almost as if the signs are left as a show of respect—an homage—to those that came before. As a designer, these timeworn signs are an infinite source of typographic inspiration.

And so, with that in mind, and in the spirit of the Halloween season, here are some of the great examples of ghosted typography that I have chanced across thus far in the neighborhood.

And of course, from the window of the design space, the “Townsend Bldg.” sign with the lights of AT&T Park hovering over close behind.

Ryan Hayes
Children’s Design

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