Disappearing commercial art preserved in photographs by John Hunter, Melbourne Australia.
A wish to document for future generations the skill and art of generations of signwriters resulted in this collection. I wanted to record the craft of signwriters and commercial artists who who used font, colour, shape, space, a keen eye for proportion and a steady hand to advertise goods and services long before television arrived.
The collection only happened with the encouragement of my partner to record the vanishing paint-ups I complained would be lost to the elements and the developer’s hammer.
With the discovery of Jalbum I am able at last to make my collection, ‘Signs of the Times’ available to people everywhere. The oldest sign photographed is for a company which ceased operation in eighteen ninety-three (1893).
Where a sign is still intact its location is generally given by suburb or town only to help protect it from vandalism.
I began photographing signs in 1979 and continue to do so. This project combines for me a love of photography and a sense of social-historical purpose.
I hope you enjoy it.