Writing by Sam Roberts

I write on a variety of topics and welcome commissions. Some of my key writing projects are highlighted here.


Better Letters (March 2014– )

Ghostsigns (June 2007– )

Our VSO (May 2010–January 2013)

Ghost Signs / Signwriting

Various Articles and Features (2022) in BLAG 01

Ghosts of London’s past (2022) in Forum 43

N.E. Signs – a case study (2021) in Hackney History (Volume 21)

Ghost Signs: A London Story (2021) Isola Press

Sign Painting (2021) Laurence King Publishing

N.E. Signs (2020) A Zine from the N.E. Signs Appreciation Society

Alf the Purse King (2020) at Ghostsigns

Letters from Tokyo (2019) in Eye Magazine

Letterheads in London (2019) in Forum 37

The Writing’s on the Wall: Journal of a Ghost-Sign Hunter (2019) in World of Interiors, February

Lettering Locations: Vienna and the Unmissable Schildermalermuseum (2018) in The Pre-Vinylite Society Journal, Issue One

Drum machines have no soul: The enduring appeal of hand-painted signs (2018) in Brush Master, Half Letter Press

Foreword, in Meyer, M. (2018) Mike Meyer Morgue File, Book 2

Brushes with Greatness (2017) with Enright, B. & Hackett, C., in TypeNotes, Issue #2

Chasing Ghosts (2017) at Coca-Cola Company

What is a Ghost Sign? (2017) with Marshall, G., in Advertising and Public Memory, Routledge

Uncovering Ghost Signs and Their Meanings (2017) with Schutt, S. and White, L., in Advertising and Public Memory, Routledge

A Final Ghost Sign Story (2017) with Schutt, S., in Advertising and Public Memory, Routledge

Foreword, in Swift, A. & Elliott, K. (2016) Ghost Signs of Bath, Akeman Press

What to do about ghost letters, in Koch, T. (2016) Ghostletters Vienna, Falter

Foreword, in Meyer, M. (2016) Mike Meyer Morgue File, Book 1

Foreword, in Tanswell, W. (2016) The Essential Guide to Hand Painted Signs, Tanswell Publications

Fileteado Porteño – past and present, as editor for Ferrari, G. (2016) at Eye

Writing the City (2015) with Krüper, L.C., in Eye 90

Introduction, in Brewer, N. (2015) Ghost Signs of London

Restoration Period (2014) in The Recorder, Issue 1, Monotype

Foreword, in West, C. (2014) Fading Ads of Gloucester, The History Press

20 hand-painted Cambodian signs (2013) at Creative Bloq

Ghost signs: their place in history, on high streets and in our hearts, in Stage, W. (2013) Fading Ads of St Louis, The History Press

Hand-Painted Signs of Kratie (2013) in Ultrabold No.13, St Bride Library

Ghostsigns, Gravestones, and the Painted History on our Walls (2013) at Cemetery Club

Monograph: Hand-Painted Signs of Kratie (2013) in Creative Review

Hand-Painted Signs of Kratie (2012) Ghostsigns

Hand-made in Cambodia (2012) at Eye

Ghostsigns and the stories they tell, in Bunford, C. and Bunford, P. (2012) Liverpool Ghostsigns, The History Press

Digital Engagement and the History of Advertising Trust Ghostsigns Archive (2012) with Carletti, L. at History Workshop Online

Fading Ads and a Transatlantic Relationship, in Jump, F. (2011) Fading Ads of New York City, The History Press

Ghostsigns: the archive (2010) in Ultrabold No.8, St Bride Library

Ghostsigns: ‘Saving’ the advertising sign writer’s art (2010) with Veale, C. in ARC, Archives and Records Association

Ghostsigns: saving our hand painted advertising (2010) in The Ephemerist No.148, Ephemera Society

Monograph: Ghostsigns (2010) in Creative Review

The London Blogger Interviews #32: Ghost Signs (2009) with Cummins, J. at Londonist

Ghost signs of London (2009) at Time Out

Ghost signs: the fading craft of handpainted advertising (2008) Ultrabold No.5, St Bride Library

Ghost Signs: London’s Fading Spectacle of History (2007) with Groes, S. in Literary London

Cambodia and VSO

The returned volunteers’ weekend (2013) at Voluntary Service Overseas

Chickens in Sambour: A Market Assessment (2012) with Cambodian Rural Development Team / Voluntary Service Overseas

Five minutes with… Sam Roberts, Marketing and Management Adviser (2012) at Voluntary Service Overseas

Sharing Market Development Experiences in Asia (2012) at Voluntary Service Overseas

Camblogia Column, 1, 2, and 3 (2011) in NSJ Magazine

From the Editors (2011) in NSJ Magazine

Game Control by Lionel Shriver: Book review (2011) in NSJ Magazine

Share it Fairly (2011) at TEDxPhnomPenh

The Redundancy of Courage by Timothy Mo: Book review (2011) in NSJ Magazine

The Ice Man Cometh… (2011) in NSJ Magazine

Employment in Cambodia (2010) at VSO Cambodia

Losing Face… (2010) in NSJ Magazine

Employment, Learning and Development

Advertising Industry Job Descriptions (2015) with Fear, J. and March, G., Institute of Practitioners in Advertising / Creative Skill Set

The Employment Relationship and the Quality of Work (2010) with Overell, S., Mills, T., Lekhi, R. And Blaug, R. in Good Work Commission, The Work Foundation

Pay: Who were the winners and losers of the New Labour era? (2010) with Kasparova, D., Wyatt, N. and Mill, T. in Good Work Commission, The Work Foundation

Adland’s ‘Brain Drain’: An investigation into careers and talent management within UK advertising agencies (2009) MSc Dissertation, London South Bank University [Read it]

Winning National Training Awards entry for the IPA Foundation Certificate (2007) with March, G. and Murray Chatterton, A., Institute of Practitioners in Advertising / National Training Awards

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