Signs in the City – a cultural typography tour

See Prices & Bookings

Explore the City of Melbourne’s oldest heritage letter-forms and symbols including historic industrial, artistic, architectural, streetart, murals, ghost signs, neon and stencils and learn their cultural stories (see also our ghost signs tour).

Our 2.5 hour tours (2 hours for schools) explore how the stories of individual signs and symbols express the life of a city from early Melbourne to the modern era.

We pursue our typographical hunt into precincts such as the cultural hub of Federation Square, Princes Bridge, the industrial warehouses of Flinders Lane, obscure street art lanes, Chinatown, ‘Marvellous’ Melbourne and major promenades in Collins, Elizabeth and Swanston Streets. 


For our holiday jaunt, the ID/Lab crew went on a tour of historic signage (guided by Melbourne Walks) in Melbourne’s CBD. Walking through the city, it quickly became apparent how much of the city’s history is reflected in the signs people choose to adorn their buildings. The rise and fall of Melbourne during the gold-rush, the various waves of migration, the emergence of street art, and the development of the iconic lane ways were all apparent in one of the most common and underrated forms of Melbourne’s cultural expression. We had a fun time and learned a good deal about the history of our great city. Christopher Thorpe, ID/Lab, Melbourne.
Just dropping a quick note to say thank you so much for this morning’s heritage signs walking tour through Melbourne. We were buzzing afterwards! It was exciting to see so many hidden treasures, and to hear some of your amazing stories. We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to wander around with you, share your wealth of knowledge and discover so many gems hidden in plain sight! Thank you again!  Kieran Doolan, College of Vocational Education, RMIT University 2024 

See Prices & Bookings