Summer 2021

Signs of street life

London Street Signs, A Visual History of London's Street Nameplates

Designed and written by Alistair Hall, Batsford, £14.99

At a time when many of us know our location all too well, having been unable to leave our homes much of late, the opportunity this book offers to vicariously wander the city is one of its most immediate contributions. It is a book that celebrates a means to know where we are.

The book sets out a visual history of one of the most ubiquitous yet overlooked graphic elements of our public spaces. To do so, it draws from a photographic archive of more than 4000 photographs of London street nameplates that the author has recorded over the past four years and shared online …

Cover of 'London Street Signs, A Visual History of London's Street Nameplates' designed and written by Alistair Hall. Top. Spread from Hall’s London Street Names showing the ‘milk-glass’ (later branded as Vitrolite) nameplates prevalent in Hoborn and Westminster.

Catherine Dixon, teacher, designer, London

Read the full version in Eye no. 101 vol. 26, 2021


Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions and single issues.