Once upon a simpler time, hand-painted and hand-crafted signs brought colour and vibrancy to Australian towns and cities — advertising everything from dining rooms, milk bars, and CWA halls to Peter’s ice cream, oatmeal, stout, Chinese restaurants, and Shelley’s famous drinks. Now faded and slowly disappearing, they tell the story of life over two centuries, recording a distinctly Australian vernacular language.
A keen photographer of the everyday, Brady Michaels has recorded an impressive array of signs from across Australia — from the earliest ads for household goods and services, to more recent but now defunct video lending libraries and internet cafés.
These beautifully composed and nostalgic images are accompanied by brief commentary by Dale Campisi, who ponders the significance of these fading and disappearing signs — artful, kitsch, and at times hilarious — lovingly preserved through Brady’s lens.
About the Author
Brady Michaels and Dale Campisi have written several Australian travel guides and history books, including Go Explore Melbourne (2009), The Eating and Drinking Guide to Melbourne (2011), and Melbourne: A City of Villages (2015). In 2016 they published two colour-in books with NewSouth, A day in Melbourne and A day in Hobart. Brady is a creative fellow whose work spans writing, photography, illustration and design, while Dale founded the architecture festival Open House Hobart. Well-known as `The Gents', they founded the popular illustrated Australian history publisher Arcade Publications as well as local goods and souvenir store, Melbournalia.