The ghosts of signs past, present, and future 👻

Ghost signs are everywhere in the city, and we’re breaking down some of Indy’s most iconic ones.

Exterior of building with Colonial Bread advertisement

The building in Fountain Square is now an indigenous-owned tattoo shop.

Photo by INDYtoday team

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Thanksgiving is over, which means it’s officially time to put up the holiday decorations, sip on some hot cocoa, and sit by the fire reading a little Dickens.

However, if you don’t have time to crack open “A Christmas Carol,” we’re putting a spin on the old classic, INDYtoday style, by exploring some of the city’s past, present, and future business signs.

Ghost of signs past

Colonial Bakery had its heyday back in the 1950s, but you can still see remnants of its popularity in places like Fountain Square and the Old Northside. The bread maker made headlines again in 2019, when its old warehouse site near 25th Street and College Avenue got cleaned up. Apparently, the soil in the area had been contaminated by heavy metals and the top soil had to be removed for environmental purposes.

Exterior of building with Quaker Oats mural

If you’re heading east off of the I-70 Washington Street exit, you won’t miss this mural.

Photo by INDYtoday team

Ghost of signs present

It may not seem like it, but the retro mural representing a number of bygone businesses is actually fairly new. Artist Blice Edwards restored the faded signage to its present-day glory using an enhanced photo as a reference point. It’s painted on the side of the former Angie’s List building and incorporates several old businesses, like FFF Coffee Company, Quaker Oats, Walker Candy Factory, and Henry’s Bee Keeping Supplies.

Exterior of Wildwood Market

You can thank Bootleg Signs for this Insta-worthy local shopping experience.

Photo by INDYtoday

Ghost of signs future

Bootleg Signs is a local biz that loves local biz, and we keep seeing more of its hand-painted work popping up around the city. If you’ve stopped by Zodiac Vintage and admired its Western-style sandwich board or walked along 10th Street for some Rabble Coffee or picked up groceries from Wildwood Market, you’ve seen its work. Though commissions are currently closed, we know we’ll be seeing a lot more of Bootleg in the future.

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