Brands have an odd way of sticking around. Even long after a company has ceased to be active, or newer, sleeker versions of existing products come onto the marketplace, brands have a way of continuously marking the world we live in. Sometimes they can even seep into the fabric of our towns and cities themselves.

Ghost signs are just such visual reminders of our past. They are the remnants of old hand-painted advertising signs which have been preserved on the sides of buildings; sometimes as the result of a given owner’s deliberate effort, sometimes as the result of neglect, decay or weathering.

Belfast keeps a better visual record of this phenomenon than most. Since the Industrial Revolution many businesses have come and gone, and traces of them can be found everywhere. From cigarette ads for John Player’s emblazoned on the brickwork at DunravenPark, to the colourful, almost billboard-like murals for India Tyres on the Shore Road, Belfast’s historic relationship with international commerce can be seen – quite literally – all over the City.

At Clever Ghost, we feel that for modern brands to achieve this kind of longevity in an ever-changing, ever-competitive marketplace, businesses need to have a good strategy in place from the beginning. Think of silently partnering with Clever Ghost as something akin to using a strong, oil-based paint. With our help your brand will not only seep into the very fabric of the town and country, but into the consciousness of your customer base; and all with the care and attention to detail of a hand-drawn mural.

Clever Ghost is very interested in seeing how these ghost signs create an interface between past and present, and we’d like to encourage you to send in your pictures from across Northern Ireland. Where did you spot your ghost sign? Do you know any of the history behind it? We’d love to hear from you.