This ghost sign was painted on the former premises of motorcycle dealer Writers, located next to the Durning Library on Kennington Lane (according to a 1927 issue of Commercial Motor, Writers Motor and Cycle Works traded at 163 and 165 Lower Kennington Lane. House numbers were not changed when the name of the street was shortened).
What makes this ghost sign really attractive is the presence of the company's logo. Designed in the mid-1930s, it represents a reared up black horse looking towards the public and its rider in a stylized form typical of the period (note how the designer cleverly placed the 'A' of Ariel on the muzzle of the horse). Unfortunately the colours of the horse rider's outfit -black boots, white trousers and red riding jacket- have badly faded. Originally it would have been pretty similar to the one on the right. However one difference was the colour of the the riding hat, which was painted black on the ghost sign. This slight change seems to have been introduced in the 1950s and can be seen on this 1955 poster.
The letters of "Ariel" seems to have been painted in either orange or red colour with black shadows. The use of this typeface by the company predates the design of the horse by about a decade as it already appears on some adverts printed in the 1920s.
However the elegantly-written slogan "Leaders of Design" (note the large 'S' for the plural) seems to have made its first appearance in a printed advert published in 1951. It doesn't seem to have been very popular though and was replaced by more engaging slogans in later adverts. Thus this ghost sign, which incorporates elements from different decades, may well have been painted in the early 1950s.
Location: Kennington Lane / Pictures taken on: 09/04/2008 and 10/10/2008