Kirkdale Signage Designed By Good People

We were commissioned by Tony Buckley of SEE3, the Portas Pilot in Sydenham, Kirkdale and Forest Hill, to come up with ideas to help regenerate Kirkdale.

Kirkdale is rather long with two distinct shopping areas split by a large stretch of residential housing. Many people coming out of Sydenham Station don’t know it has two parts. It is blessed by some amazing architecture, although sadly it has fallen into decline over the years and suffers from low footfall. We spoke to local traders and shared our ideas. We were told the area didn’t feel ‘proud of itself’, or ‘people don’t know this is still Kirkdale’.

A few years ago the traders in Kirkdale, led by a local estate agent, had rebranded the area ‘Kirkdale Village’ but this proved unpopular in some quarters and historically Kirkdale was never a village. We believe that branding should be based on truth. The first step was to work on the name to solve the issue of the two shopping areas of Kirkdale. We researched the history of the area, again working with local historian Steve Grindlay (as we did on the mural on the Greyhound Pub in the other part of Kirkdale). ‘Kirkdale High Street’ was the chosen name as it harks back to it’s original name (Kirkdale was Sydenham’s original high street).

The branding was based on the writing on the elegant High Street Buildings:


The Branding:

Kirkdale logo

We designed ‘ghost sign’ style typographic murals for the side roads, lovingly hand painted by Peter O’Connor on the most visible strategic points in Kirkdale. The murals use a combination of ingredients already existing in Kirkdale.

The border of one of the signs is based on the tiles in the thresholds of the High Street buildings:

Here is the signwriter Peter doing what he does best.


The finished results below have received lots of very positive comments on local forums.





The branding also works on posters:

Kirkdale poster before_AFTER

Finally we have some laser cut stencils (thanks to Cut Laser Cut) for some seasonal reverse graffiti.

stencils2 Designed By Good People Stencils Designed By Good People


Yes, they are our shoes!

It’s been a lovely project to work on. It’s always nice working with independent businesses and small traders and Tony and his team have been very supportive. We had lots of other ideas and designed new street signs and water cut directional paving slabs which, unfortunately, we weren’t able to impliment due to council policy. Many thanks to the Kirkdale traders, Tony Buckley and SEE3, Stuart from the Sydenham Town website, Peter O’Connor for his wisdom and craft and all those who have said kind words about the project.

Thanks for reading and feel free to share this.

Be good.



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  1. […] The full story can be found HERE. Feedback can be found HERE. […]


  2. Mark says:

    Very cool, the paving stones in particular are lovely!


  3. Sam Roberts says:

    Nice project, did you get Peter involved in the design phase too?


    • Hi, no Peter designed the Piano sign, he had free licence on that, but the Kirkdale branding and signs were Designed by Good People.

      Peter is working on some more signs for us in Rainham that we will blog about later which will definitely be of interest to you Sam! Keep up the good work with your site, along with, it’s one of our favourites.
      Remember the ghost sign we designed for Penge Sam? There is an outside chance that, or something similar, might happen.


      • Sam Roberts says:

        Great stuff, good to see the craft being kept alive. Let me know if you are ever stuck for lettering artists in other disciplines as I’m working with quite a few now to collaborate on projects. Also, you and Peter should definitely make your way along to this event in September:


      • Thanks Sam. Yes, please share them. We have tried to collaborate with lettering artists in the past, but they all seem to be incredibly busy (or don’t like working with designers!). I always share good suppliers with various other designers and architects and the GLA. We are also working with John Pope and Mark from Butler Dsigns who has done some nice work including a new wall painted sign for us. The Kirkdale murals signs have had such a great response, we hope it will lead to more work like this and collaborate with other great craftsmen. We always give credit to the people we work with when we blog about work. Credit due where credit is due. We need more sign writers on our high streets, they will look far better than most of the signage that seems to go up these days.


  4. […] You can find out more about the Kirkdale sign above by clicking here. […]


  5. […] You can find out more about the Kirkdale sign above by clicking here. […]


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