At Bulletproof’s Inspiration Festival last year, we heard Sam Roberts talk to us about the dying art of ghost signage. The fading hand painted advertising that peaked in the 1920’s to 1940’s, remains on buildings across the UK and the US as a reminder of the craft and care that went into telling forgotten brand stories. There’s something quaint and beautiful about these hand-painted advertisements that are either preserved for nostalgic value or simple indifference.
In an age where campaign advertisements last on digital billboards for a blink of the eye, it poses the question, have we lost focus on the craft and the impact that our work has on the environment around us? Or in this fast-paced life are we more attuned to our ever-changing landscape?
Whatever the answer, having recently moved to New York from the London studio, it became quickly apparent that that this skill is not dying here but flourishing. A Brooklyn-based studio Colossal Media is leading the game and is credited for ensuring a resurgence across the States. Colossal Media is the largest hand paint mural and outdoor advertising company in the world. Their work is dotted all over the city and is mind-blowing in terms of scale and detail.
Out in hipster Williamsburg, the culture is not so accepting of high street stores. Colossal did a great job of boosting the Brooklyn cool factor of the opening J Crew store with its alphabet-soup-style mural.
Wall Dogs was the name given to the artists back in the day. Colossal celebrate their Wall Dogs who suspend themselves above the bustling city streets and keep their craft alive. Let’s hope some of these stick around as long as the relics before us.
Blog written by Liam.