Graphic Design

Characters by Stephen Banham + giveaway!

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Tuesday 13th September 2011

See Melbourne like you’ve never seen it before in Stephen Banham’s new book – Characters – Cultural Stores Revealed through Typography, published by Thames & Hudson.

Just a few of the incredible signs uncovered in  Characters by Stephen Banham

OK, OK so it’s ANOTHER post about a beautiful design book, and ANOTHER giveaway!  How repetitive.  Yet awesome.  :)

Unlike yesterday’s post, however, today’s featured tome will appeal to Melbourne design lovers for it’s hyper-local focus.  And if there’s one thing we love around here, it’s our own backyard!

Local designer / typographer Stephen Banham is generally regarded as a bit of a type wizard.  Stephen runs a dynamic little design practice called Letterbox, and is super well respected within Melbourne’s design community.  (You might recall I interviewed Stephen last year).

I get the feeling Stephen has been waiting 20 years for mainstream Australia to get excited about type.  Lucky the penny finally seems to have dropped (you know that when contestants on renovation shows start using faux vintage type on commercial TV).  Sooooo… perfect timing for a book dedicated to public signage and typography in Melbourne!

Stephen’s passion is not just beautiful lettering (which of course, many design enthusiasts love) but the stories and secrets behind it.  In Melbourne there are so many incredible signs dotted across our cityscape – advertising from days gone by, buzzing neon signs, public artworks, and hidden typographic messages in our famed laneways… yet how many of us know the stories behind them?  WELL never fear, thanks to Stephen’s new book, it won’t be long before we’re all clued in!

In Characters Stephen plays detective, sharing amazing untold stories behind some of Melbourne’s best loved public signage – from the Herald Sun Building’s majestic uppercase letters, to Richmond’s ‘Neon Quartet’ (the Skipping Girl, Nylex clock, Pelaco and Slade Knitwear signs), and for the Southsiders – St Kilda Junction as you’ve never seen it before!

Characters is a truly special publication which perfectly balances beautiful imagery and social storytelling.  It is a MUST for any Melbourne design / typography / sociology enthusiast!

The lovely ladies at Thames & Hudson would like to offer one lucky TDF reader a copy of Characters by Stephen Banham!  To get your mitts on this beautiful book, simply leave a comment on this post before 10.00pm AEST today, Tuesday Sept 13th. A winner will be drawn at random and contacted by email tomorrow!

Characters is currently in store in bookshops nationally (listed here).   OR you could grab one at the launch event this Thursday in Melbourne!

Characters Public Launch event
Thursday 15 September, 6.00pm – 7:30 pm

State Library of Victoria
328 Swanston Street

This is a free event, but booking is recommended – 8664 7540

Read on for a few words with Stephen about the making of the book!  ALSO there are excellent additional features and unpublished images to check out on the Characters website.  Phew.

What inspired you to write a book about Melbourne’s typographic history?

Although the book includes typographic signage that has vanished (or been forgotten), the book isn’t so much historical as a celebration of the cultural significance of typography in our everyday environment – past, present and future. After all, it’s all around us everywhere. But the relationship between type and how it contributes to our sense of place hasn’t really been explored. So although the book takes Melbourne as a case study, this same idea could be used for any city anywhere in the world, that’s the beauty of the idea. It’s simple and universal.

When did the idea first come to you to create this book, and how long has it taken to research and write?

The idea has been floating around in my head for some time. But to make it real it has taken 2-3 years of research and writing. But it also took a far-sighted publisher (Thames and Hudson) and co-publisher (State Library of Victoria) to really make it all happen.

In your book you refer to a ‘ cultural mainstreaming’ of typography.  Do you see this renewed popular interest in typography and public signage as encouraging, or mildly irritating, given you have been a type fiend all along!?? (come on now, be honest!)

No, it’s all very, very exciting. It’s a very special time in seeing the evolution of typography from a trade-based, geeky and slightly esoteric interest into something that you now see on the shelves of homeware stores, architecture, advertising, literature and just everywhere else. So the timing for this book was absolutely perfect. People are loving letters and language. For those of us in the field of graphic design and typography, this ‘mainstreaming’ of typography is one of the biggest and most exciting cultural changes in decades. And the more people understand the power of type, the more they will understand the cultural importance of graphic design.

What’s next for Stephen Banham now that this immense project is finally complete? Have you got the book bug?  Will we see more books from you…!?

Immense is right. It’s been a very intense few years. Throughout this period, I’ve also been putting together exhibitions, teaching and running a studio. And on the day that the first advance copies of the book arrived in Australia, my son was born. So it’s been very exciting. In terms of the book bug, yes, I was bitten some time ago (Characters is our 16th publication) so I can’t see myself giving up on ink on paper any time soon.

Characters by Stephen Banham is published by Thames & Hudson and co-published by the State Library of Victoria.

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Tuesday 13th September 2011


  • Majka Kaiser 5 years ago

    What a fantastic coffee table book! Gorgeous photographs and filled with interesting background stories rich with history.

  • Carmen 5 years ago

    Would love to read it.

  • Cathg1g2 5 years ago

    Melbourne = Pellegrinis

  • Elli Moody 5 years ago

    Wow – looks great – I love retro typography!

  • Alison 5 years ago

    I heard the author recently on abc radio. You have reminded me that I want the book.

  • sarah.a. 5 years ago

    melbourne has a great typographic history and culture, this book looks awesome! can’t wait to see it!

  • Melissa 5 years ago

    looks fantastic, i’ve been searching for a book just like this.

  • Looks like a great read – I love a bit of type

  • lizzie 5 years ago

    As someone new to Melbourne, ooooh this speaks to me.

  • Stacey 5 years ago

    Stunning book!!

  • Lizzie 5 years ago

    This is really a bit special.

  • Pippa 5 years ago

    I heard about this fine book on By Designs! Yes please!! :)

  • DonnaZ 5 years ago

    I too am obsessed with old signs and lettering.. nice book to have!!

  • katie 5 years ago

    urban aesthetic and commercial signage just float my boat ! what a beautiful book

  • Dusty Plum 5 years ago

    Amazing and unique view of my home town :)

  • Tiffany 5 years ago

    what a lovely book!

  • carly 5 years ago

    Looks like a great book and source for some local inspiration, I am a bit of a closet type-fan myself.

  • Michelle 5 years ago

    Lovely book … And to think such beautiful typography has been right under my nose!

  • sandra 5 years ago

    My type of book!

  • Jen Henderson 5 years ago

    I heard Stephen speak last year at a Craft Vic talk and was so inspired. He is the Aussie version of the type masters Hoefler & Frere-Jones.

  • Jenna 5 years ago

    What a beautiful book!

  • julie 5 years ago

    Awesome indeed…

  • Sarah 5 years ago

    I’ve always adored old classic signage and it’s wonderful to see someone documenting Melbourne typographic history at last

  • Melinda 5 years ago

    I LOVE typography. Please, please, please send it my way…

  • Barbara 5 years ago

    How beautiful is the Pelligrini’s font? It makes me so happy I often ride my bike by just to see it – and get a watermelon ice in the summer. Thanks for letting us know about this beautiful book and reminding us to ‘look up’ to see this amazing work.

  • Jessamy 5 years ago

    It is an interesting time for typography! Would love to own that book.

  • Manu 5 years ago

    What a lovely book

  • Jeremy Smart 5 years ago

    Just what I’m looking for! Would love to win a copy of this! x

  • Pamela Oberman 5 years ago

    I have been a “font freak” since my first encounter with the golfball typewriter way back in the late 1960’s and nothing has changed….I am excited to see young people also being impressed by the amazingly creative use of letters – so simple yet with the appropriate front – the impact is instantly – art. I would seriously dig this book

  • sal 5 years ago

    looks fantastic, cant wait to indulge :)

  • Jackie 5 years ago

    Looks like it would be a perfect visual companion to Sophie Cunningham’s ‘Melbourne’ book.

  • Lu 5 years ago

    Gorgeous book.

  • Rachel 5 years ago

    wowsies! Nice work Stephen! It would be interesting to do one for each state, see how it varies or how much it is/is not considered an important part of communication in each area, esp our smaller ones;)

  • lizzz 5 years ago

    I had heard about this book …go Stephen Banham! It’s fantastic!

  • Flora 5 years ago

    Lovely, i think i heard Stephen interview on 774, very interesting!

  • Luke 5 years ago


  • heather 5 years ago

    so cool so melbourne

  • Nola 5 years ago

    Stephen Banham was a guest lecturer when I was in my final year of a graphic design degree way back in 2003, at the University of Canberra. Since then my obsession with typography has continued to grow, nurtured by a move to Melbourne about 6 years ago. I still find Stephen to be an inspiration, and I love his focus on typography in Melbourne.

  • Lynda 5 years ago

    The skipping girl, I LOVE, and the book sounds fantastic!!!! Please, please!!

  • Fiona 5 years ago

    I love type. I always thought it a bit strange until the last few years. I’d love to have this book.

  • emma g 5 years ago


  • Alexandra Hanna 5 years ago

    Have always loved the TYPE…should be more of it around town!

  • miranda 5 years ago

    looks fantastic

  • Micha 5 years ago

    Wonderful! And wonderfully wonderfully local!

  • Michelle 5 years ago

    this book looks amazing and a must have for all designers

  • Lou 5 years ago

    What a fab Melb coffee table book – and a perfect Christmas present

  • Anna 5 years ago

    Stephen taught me at RMIT.. he was a very inspiring lecturer, I imagine the book will be the same!

  • David 5 years ago

    I like the cut of this book’s typeface

  • Jacinta - Pomegranate 5 years ago

    Love the book, love melbourne

  • Donna Allen 5 years ago

    What a fabulous way to showcase Melbourne. And, while typography is “of the moment” these images show just how much of a classic it is!

  • hannah 5 years ago

    what a great way to find out some Melbourne history, beautiful!

  • Jenna 5 years ago

    Two of my favourite things combined: Melbourne and typography. Hooray!

  • Von 5 years ago

    Stunning! Always a fan of your work Stephen. A legend in my books!

  • Naomi 5 years ago

    Beautiful! His work is amazing, love to see some more in print!

  • Kimbalee 5 years ago

    Holy Font! What a fantastic book….thanks for sharing :-)

  • Maxime 5 years ago

    i’m the type to want this book! Character’s gonna ba a scrumptious read! so looking forward to discovering the stories behind the signages.

  • Justine 5 years ago

    Can’t wait to win :)

  • Megan 5 years ago

    Looks like a brilliant book! Would love to have it on my coffee table!

  • Natalie Townsend 5 years ago

    I love Stephen Banhams work! What a beautiful book!

  • Piertra 5 years ago

    Love the look of the book. It makes me proud to be a Melburnian. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

  • Marley 5 years ago

    I want this beautiful book! :)

  • Karen 5 years ago

    typography and melbourne… these are a few of my favourite things.

  • Gemma 5 years ago

    What a perfect combination!

  • Donna Quirke 5 years ago

    This is my kinda book – wow it looks amazing! Fingers and Toes crossed for this prize

  • Nick Stone 5 years ago

    gimmee gimmee gimmee
    Great idea, a collection of Melb typo icons that fits on your bookshelf

  • handmaderomance 5 years ago

    everything i have seen online so far of this book has left me wanting more!! and i know someone dear who would love it even more. great find out a little more about this project and stephen too. thanks lucy x

  • meggsy 5 years ago

    Just love to get my mitts on this book…..

  • Lisette 5 years ago

    oh my golly gosh so many giveaways!

  • Gabe 5 years ago


  • colmac 5 years ago

    My “kinda” book – sometimes you pick it up and flick through and stop at the pics that catch your eye; other times you can sit and actually read.

  • Jasmine 5 years ago

    sign me up!

  • Theresa 5 years ago

    I would love to see Melbourne in a different way

  • Grant 5 years ago

    Melbourne is truly the city of great signs and lettering..what a great way to celebrate this

  • JB 5 years ago

    Pick me, Pick me! Have commented on lots of giveaway that my partner would have loved to have won, but this one I wont.

  • Kieran 5 years ago

    So. Wonderful. What treasure!

  • Ryan 5 years ago

    my girlfriend is studying typography. would LOVE to win this! :)

  • Ash Braun 5 years ago

    I live for typography… Pretty, pretty please!

  • laura 5 years ago

    Typography has and has always rocked my socks AND I am REALLY missing Melbourne at the moment! This book must be mine, whether I win it, or buy it!! :)

  • Melanie Shaw 5 years ago

    stunning book!

  • Jenni Zahn 5 years ago

    arrgh I LOVE typography books especially ones with characters and stories as a graphic designer I would love to have typography babies <3 plus it's amazing to see an australian typography book!

  • Marie Biswell 5 years ago

    A bright cheery book to cheer up my drap coffee table… Yes Please!

  • Sarah 5 years ago

    A special, inspiring coffee table book.

  • Jane 5 years ago

    Great idea, great book.

  • Kylie 5 years ago

    I have already ordered a copy of what I’m sure will be a wonderful book, but I’m sure I could find a home for another without any trouble at all!

  • carla 5 years ago

    would love a copy!! <3

  • Sarah 5 years ago

    Another awesome giveaway! Would love to win this book.

  • Liz 5 years ago

    I always think of Stephen when I see an interesting sign about the traps. Have been taking some of my own photos too….in case they get demolished!

  • angie 5 years ago

    can’t wait to have a look, thanks for the glimpse, angie

  • Marie Watt 5 years ago

    Characters = creativity=Melbourne Style

  • Victoria 5 years ago

    A book to celebrate Melbourne. Stunning!

  • Victoria 5 years ago

    A book celebrating a side to Melbourne I hadn’t considered before. Stunning.

  • Grace 5 years ago

    What a beautiful book, I love the work of Letterbox and Stephen Banham :)

  • Renee 5 years ago

    CHARACTERS!!! Can’t wait to have a look!

  • Ruth 5 years ago

    was sitting in traffic on Friday night, looking at the beautiful lettering on the Herald Sun building and wondering how long they had been there… now I know how I can find out more about them! Thanks

  • Sangi 5 years ago

    ooh!! Love awesome typography and brilliant sign-age!

  • sue 5 years ago

    what a beautiful way to record and help preserve a different form of historical significance. Sadly disappearing everywhere bit by bit over here on west coast. The more people who appreciate this kind of beauty the better!

  • Ebony Morehouse 5 years ago

    I have been dying to get my hands on this book!

  • Reannen Pettman 5 years ago

    Looks like an excellently inspiring read.

  • nat 5 years ago

    GORGEOUS! i love this.. :)

  • iris 5 years ago

    yay for books and type.

  • Lani 5 years ago

    Another beautiful book published by Thames & Hudson

  • Ray 5 years ago

    OK – so I love this book. Amazing giveaway! Thx

  • Mandy 5 years ago

    Massive soft spot for sign-age! Looks like an ace read.

  • Laura 5 years ago

    absolutely beautiful work! X

  • Alex 5 years ago

    Looks like an interesting read!! Send a copy my way!

  • Kim D 5 years ago

    I heart books & type

  • Lou 5 years ago

    AH! Can’t wait to get my mitts on a copy!

  • lolly 5 years ago

    and today’s letter is, the letter M for me!!!!

  • Sarah 5 years ago

    yes yes yes

  • Irene Feleo 5 years ago

    This is the type book australia has been waiting for! Can’t wait to get a hold of it :)

    Great interview Lucy, love the range of designers and creatives you get on The Design Files. Fantastic!

  • Pete 5 years ago

    Another great book that I need to get for the bookshelf

  • Matt Ross Goodman 5 years ago

    What an amazing idea for a book!
    The skill and craftsmanship required to make these signs far out weighs todays computer based imagery, love it.

  • Bianca 5 years ago

    How exciting and absolutely interesting. Oh i will be pleased if i win a copy.

  • Sam 5 years ago

    What a fantastic idea, looks amazing.

  • Karen 5 years ago

    Thank you for celebrating our culture and the value of conservation through this book!

  • Rebecca 5 years ago

    Such a beautiful book… Perfect for a lazy Sunday spent sitting in my armchair.

  • Tanya Davies 5 years ago

    Oooh yes please!

  • megan 5 years ago

    Only melbourne ?
    I loved the golf sign near central station, i think it was Golf house and had a figure hitting a hole in one, fantastic

  • Melita Amore 5 years ago

    Fantastic book, would love to win this one. You just keep those great giveaways coming – thank you. x

  • Hilary 5 years ago

    Looks gorgeous!

  • Angela 5 years ago

    Looks sooooooo good!

  • Vivien 5 years ago

    Great stuff, Stephen!

  • Noni Edmunds 5 years ago

    Love a bit of good type and even more awesome when it is part of the architecture. A lot of these typefaces were so daggy at one stage but now we havent seen them for decades and they are in context with their architecture they are reborn design icons.

  • Lyndal 5 years ago

    and the book list gets longer… looks absolutely fantastic!

  • Rachel 5 years ago

    Okay, it’s my birthday tomorrow. I think Stephen’s book would be a great present to me! What do you think?

  • Emma 5 years ago

    What a great idea – I would love this for my library!

  • ponygirl summers 5 years ago

    I want to eat all these letters in a big soup!

  • Carol 5 years ago

    my favourite thign to do is find signage like this – so inspiring.

  • Chloe Walker 5 years ago

    I love the Slade Knitwear sign but I’ve only ever seen it in daylight – I had no idea it was neon!

  • Rachel Saliba 5 years ago

    I am thrilled to see that my inspirational typography lecturer from RMIT from many years ago has produced this wonderful book showcasing the history of typography. If there was a person who had to do this project it would be Stephen. I can’t wait to see the whole book and it will definitely be added to my collection.

  • Angelique 5 years ago


  • Jo 5 years ago

    Looks great! Please make me the lucky owner of this gorgeous book!

  • ragingyoghurt 5 years ago

    wow. what a beauty! stephen banham came and spoke to my class in design school way back in the early 90s, such an inspiring and dapper fellow. i still have my little stash of qwerty magazines from that golden age. :)

  • John B 5 years ago

    Fantastic book. Great to have. Thanks.

  • Sophia 5 years ago

    I love your backyard too!! Even though it’s not mine!
    Let me spread the love in Radelaide!

  • sharnee Thorpe 5 years ago

    i love books, especially any book on melbourne

  • Joanna 5 years ago

    Heard him talking about this on Triple R last week and thought how wonderful it sounded…

  • Linda Friend 5 years ago

    Gorgeous book on Melbourne’s style!

  • Will 5 years ago

    Stephen Banham, a one man Melbourne institution. Even if I don’t win this book, I’m dashing out to get it and so should you all. Heard this was in the winds a while back and have been waiting ever so patiently. But now… Gimme, gimme, gimme!

  • Anna 5 years ago

    Looks great, I’d love to win a copy. Thanks for the opportunity.

  • siska 5 years ago

    Melbourne style – love it.

  • Lauren 5 years ago

    I am a huge fan of Steven Banham. Back at uni I used to email him nagging him about type and did a mini interview with him. I am a type geek and a designer that loves his work. This would look great on my shelf for sure!

  • Brenda 5 years ago

    This book looks wonderful!

  • Ashleigh Harrington 5 years ago

    This book looks amazing! I would love to read up on the history and then explore the city and discover the signs I don’t already. What a treasure.

  • Bella 5 years ago

    Love the Pellegrinis sign! Gorgeous

  • captain kk 5 years ago

    oh my, this book looks AMAZING!

  • RCCola 5 years ago

    Wow I want his book!
    And I just missed the 10am cut off.
    – Nooooooooooooooooo

    (I’ll just have to buy it)

  • leah 5 years ago

    i love melbourne’s typographic history and culture, this book looks awesome!
    my son would love it too… x

  • jessica 5 years ago

    oh my – this book looks amazing!!

  • mardi 5 years ago

    Great reference!

  • Michelle 5 years ago

    I’d love that.

  • Robyn 5 years ago

    heard about this on the radio! i’d love one!

  • Ein 5 years ago

    Oh I would love that! Those signs and the photos of them look amazing. Beautiful book.

  • Jen Arnold 5 years ago

    Beautiful book!

    I can always do with some type inspiration being a graphic designer…

  • Nicholas Miltos 5 years ago

    Pick me Please!!! :D

  • Nick Slater 5 years ago

    What a fantastic book please let it be mine…

  • Elise 5 years ago

    Love so many of those Melbourne icons and would love to know more!

  • Sher 5 years ago


  • Bronwyn 5 years ago

    Fontastic!!! Great to see a fine design book about Australian design!

  • Sam 5 years ago

    Another awesome book from Letterbox – love it! Gimme Gimme…

  • Miss K 5 years ago

    Melbourne+design+typography = I likey! And all in one book!

  • caro 5 years ago

    wonderful that these iconic melbourne signs have been documented! would love to win this book =) thank you!

  • andherimagination 5 years ago

    Melbourne typography is effortless and amazing – Banham knows where it’s at.

  • Margie 5 years ago

    “And the more people understand the power of type, the more they will understand the cultural importance of graphic design”… This understanding is what’s missing with the popularisation of interior design…
    Great book!

  • Jennifer 5 years ago

    The fabulous old signs of Melbourne and their history? Yes, please!!

  • lyn cole 5 years ago

    my grand dad worked at Neon Electric and my dad at the Herald Sun as a lynotype operator- this book will be a gem- crossed fingers

  • rosie handley 5 years ago

    Love it! can’t wait to get a closer look.

  • tom 5 years ago

    AMAZING. If i don’t win this i’m going to buy it.
    I love typography and old signage! and even better it’s all the amazing signage i admire whilst walking around my home cittay!


  • alice 5 years ago

    id love to see inside the beautiful pages of this book..gorgeous.

  • sangita 5 years ago

    Feels like typographical heaven!!!!!

  • Natasha 5 years ago


  • Susan 5 years ago

    3d type. Does it come with glasses?

  • Ryz 5 years ago

    gimme gimme gimme

  • rachael 5 years ago

    i have been looking forward to this book..yay!!

  • Sharen 5 years ago

    Love love love the look of this book, would so like to win a copy!!!!

    but even if I dont I shall be securing myself one anyway.

  • robyn 5 years ago

    what a fab book!! Looks amazing. im going to have to add this to my wish list.

  • Kylie 5 years ago

    Yes please!

  • Dyani 5 years ago

    Another stunning book to add to the collection – please don’t ever get sick of ink on paper Mr Banham!

  • Grace 5 years ago

    FAB fonts we’ll never get tired of them…

  • Karo 5 years ago

    Just perfect…

  • Sarah 5 years ago

    Love it!

  • kathryn 5 years ago

    I heard Stephen speak on the radio about this book last week and have been dying to have a look ever since. Such a beautiful idea and it looks amazing!

  • Lisa 5 years ago

    Fantastic book, would love to add to my collection!

  • Judy 5 years ago

    I absolutely love the written word – and with beautiful type. I always wonder about the meaning behind them and how they came to look the way they do. Now I can. And congratulations to Stephen for researching all that for us mere mortals so we can relish in our passions. With his fantastic book.

  • Daisy 5 years ago

    !!! The hours of fun that could be had with games like “What the Font” and “Spot the bad Kern” with this! Oh…ok. well, maybe that’d just be me.

  • Erin 5 years ago

    Would love this revolving between my coffee table and my book shelf

  • Niccola 5 years ago

    A book and a baby all on the same day? Congratulations Mr Banham!

  • emma Miller 5 years ago

    This book looks amazing… typography is like my own personal drug… I’m such a nerd!

  • Sandy J 5 years ago

    its gonna be the birthday of one of my friends next month, she’s a graphic designer and a photographer, that would be a great gift for her !

  • katelyn 5 years ago

    maybe today is the day??

  • Bron 5 years ago

    I love sending books over to my friends in Paris on Melbourne! Think that this one needs to be shipped OS x

  • Snowdomes 5 years ago

    Ok seriously. PICK ME!!

  • Pauly 5 years ago

    Skipping girl vinegar… iconic Melbourne.

  • Sally Davis 5 years ago

    My husband was a typographer in another life! How fantastiv would it be for him to see this book.

  • Meg 5 years ago

    Seriously crafted… well done.

  • Andy 5 years ago

    I love that there are the stories behind the gorgoeous pictures – I remember how I used to wait to catch a glimpse of those Herald-Sun letters when I came into the city on the trian

  • Jessica Lowther 5 years ago

    I already have a special little space reserved for this book on the bookshelves of our Melbourne based design studio!

  • emily 5 years ago

    Lovely signage for type nerds! yes please… looks gorgeous!

  • Louise 5 years ago

    I’d love this book! Thank you so much :)

  • Marissa 5 years ago

    Love, love, love!

  • Ant 5 years ago

    Awesome !
    Will compliment the Melways perfectly for city touring.

  • Lupita Manzo 5 years ago

    I think I already have a special space reserved for this book on my bookshelf at the entry of my place!!!!! Really cool design book!!!!

  • Marcelle 5 years ago

    This looks fantastic! My brother will love this book, may have to receive it pre-read though!!

  • Frances 5 years ago

    Great book! I’ve always wondered what the ‘Our Magic Hour’ sign was!

  • Stephanie Darling 5 years ago

    Yay! I went to see him talk as part of Melbourne writers festival and just loved what he had to say. It is a great book – fingers crossed I’m so lucky!

  • Amber 5 years ago

    Yay, this is such an exciting and beautiful book – and he’s such an interesting man! Can’t wait to get my hands on this!

  • Kiralie Allan 5 years ago

    I’ve never been to Melbourne before (hate flying) but perhaps a little taste in the way of this gorgeous book would be enough to encourage me to bite the bullet, get on a plane (gulp) and see what Melbourne has to offer in person….

  • Wen 5 years ago

    Awesome book! and please pick ME!!!!

  • sylvia 5 years ago

    Great book! let them eat helvetica

  • Giselle 5 years ago

    I too have been hit with the nostalgia bug, just browsing the images posted here make me feel warm, snug, wistful and happy to be a Melbournian :-)

  • Dee 5 years ago

    Exactly my type of book (pun intended) :) Would absolutely LOVE a copy!

  • hana 5 years ago

    a whole bunch of drool-worthy fonts, types and signs? LOVELY!

  • Lauren Briggs 5 years ago

    I almost want to rip out some pages and frame them for my walls!!!!

  • sarah-jane 5 years ago

    Love it! What a great idea for a book – just beautiful.

  • Lauren 5 years ago

    What an inspiration – I love typography and Stephen taught me at uni!

  • Marsh Estate 5 years ago

    Beautiful typography at its best and I need a new logo!

  • Anna D 5 years ago

    Sounds like a lovely book!

  • carla 5 years ago

    love typography

  • emma ricketts 5 years ago

    Sounds right up my alley

  • Emmell 5 years ago

    That looks to be an very pretty book.
    Extremely pretty, in fact!

  • laura 5 years ago

    cant wait to see this book, looks very cool, thanks lucy xx

  • Leona 5 years ago

    looks excellent

  • Sarah 5 years ago

    That looks like such an amazing book!

  • Morgan 5 years ago

    amazing, would love to read, looks full of inspiration!

  • Morgan 5 years ago

    AMAZING, would love to read! Looks full of inspiration!

  • Kate 5 years ago

    Book lust. I miss Melbourne so much!

  • Phoebe 5 years ago

    There are so many fabulous examples of environmental typography in Melbourne city. I love a book that documents the expression of signs as culture. A great idea for a book, I’d love a copy!

  • Michelle 5 years ago

    Would love a copy of this book to give to my father, my father and brothers have had a sign making company for about 20 years and I think they would really love it.

  • Jay 5 years ago

    Nothing beats good typography!

  • debbie 5 years ago


  • Melissa 5 years ago


  • Sarah 5 years ago

    WOW! This looks like a beautifully designed publication and what better topic than Melbourne typography?! If I’m not lucky this time, I’m definitely putting this on my Christmas list! Thanks for sharing!

  • Amanda 5 years ago

    Wow – that’s a lot of comments. Nooo hope – but would love to give this book to my daughter, studying typography this semester and new to Melbourne. I will just have to buy it for her.

  • meg 5 years ago

    I would love to read about the interesting historical stories behind the amazing signs that give Melbourne the character,style and uniqueness everyone appreciates and loves!

  • Christina 5 years ago

    Wowza! This looks AMAZING! I’d love to get my grubby little hands on this beauty!

  • Bec 5 years ago

    I also had Stephen as a lecturer at RMIT, his work is amazing and always inspiring. Looks like a great read!

  • Julia 5 years ago

    Love it

  • Dana 5 years ago

    As a failed graphic designer with greater ideas than skills this makes me swooooon. SUCh a typography groupie.

  • anna 5 years ago

    fantastic book!

  • Otto 5 years ago

    Sounds like a great book, would love to have it

  • Andrea 5 years ago

    So many giveaways…. lovely

  • carla 5 years ago

    so want it!

  • mahani 5 years ago

    definitely being added to the ‘books to buy’ list!

  • Sienna Primrose 5 years ago

    yes please!

  • Rebecca 5 years ago

    ooooohhhhh…. typography porn!
    : )

  • anna Barry 5 years ago

    How fabulous and how Melbourne

  • Stacey Hills 5 years ago

    Sounds like an fantastic read, I love typography

  • Maria 5 years ago

    Special book! Great giveaway!

  • Anthea 5 years ago

    Pick me – I’m the right TYPE to have this book !

  • Steven 5 years ago

    Fantastic book. There are quite a few people writing about type overseas and online, but it’s even better to see something local being published.

  • Lauren 5 years ago

    Looks like a fabulous book. Thanks for running this competition- would love to win this one!

  • Lisa 5 years ago

    what a lovely book!

  • Carla 5 years ago

    Pretty awesome. Can’t wait to get my mitts on one of those, congrats on the book!

  • zoe strout 5 years ago

    STEPHEN BANHAM! There should be a song written about him. Have been a fan since ‘turd polisher’ stickers arrived by post!

  • jess 5 years ago


  • asha 5 years ago

    Looks great. I love the lettering used hanging from the NGV.

  • Claire 5 years ago

    Love this book! Can’t wait to get my hands on it!

  • Fiona 5 years ago


    Book looks awesome

  • Christina 5 years ago

    wow – this book looks interesting – so Melbourne!!

  • Gemma 5 years ago

    Gorgeous – design + Melbourne.

  • Annalisa 5 years ago

    Swoon. Would love to pore over a copy of this beautiful book.

  • Georgia 5 years ago

    Can’t wait to get this book… so fabulous.

  • Ruth 5 years ago

    Wonderful giveaway! Statistics aren’t on my side but I’m rather hopeful regardless x

  • MP 5 years ago

    want it, want it, want it….I so want it! This book is a must have!

  • karen 5 years ago

    “Hell yes!” -loved the sign in ny and came back to melb to see “the magic hour” right outside our front door!

  • Robyn Beyer 5 years ago

    Love to win the book for my georgie who is almost 21 and who loves both Stephen Baham and Melbourne!

  • Nicky Vonk 5 years ago

    This book looks amazing – want it now!

  • Alyce 5 years ago

    Oh pretty pretty please with a big fat cherry on top!!! I’ve been stalking this book online xxx

  • Cortasia 5 years ago

    ‘i’ is my favourite character.. Because it is all about me!! ;)

  • Gina 5 years ago

    I would definitely have to be selfish and keep this if I won it! A beautiful book … and a great idea. Can’t wait to read the stories related to each sign.

  • Tracey 5 years ago

    Melbourne typography … so typically Melbourne!

  • Elizabeth 5 years ago

    I am trying to make a sign for our studios at the moment. It would be very inspiring!

  • Leslie 5 years ago

    I saw something about this book a couple of weeks ago – in The Age I think. Anyway, it looks like a great book and well… Melbourne and Typography what a great combo!

  • Alison 5 years ago

    What a marvellous way to get to know Melbourne!

  • E-Gene 5 years ago

    I love Melbourne and I love this book and I love this giveaway!

  • charlie 5 years ago

    I left Melbourne 8 years ago and it’s so great to see that someone has collected a very important part of Melbourne into one book. I look forward to looking at all the old familiar bits that I miss.

  • Ann 5 years ago

    Yes please!!!! A perfect gift for my long-time-type-obsessed Melbourne based brother and if I don’t win it, I’ll buy it for him for Christmas… A x

  • Emily 5 years ago

    Wooooow this is so crazy!.I was actually thinking about this book today and wondering if there’d be an interview about it on Design Files….and here it is!!!!!! YIPPEEEE :D

  • Jen 5 years ago

    Fonts – it’s a personal thing!

  • Amy Butcher 5 years ago

    It appears that the type enthusiast with a resentment for Helvetica has produced yet another beautiful publication! And one that combines both beautifully crafted typography along with the nostalgia of growing up in Melbourne. Yay!

  • Bec 5 years ago

    Wowsers!! This giveaway is font-astic!!

  • Suzie 5 years ago

    Isn’t it great that something so commonplace and that we probably don’t notice is so beautiful.

  • Sarah s 5 years ago

    Great giveaway, yet again!

  • Laura 5 years ago

    What a very melbourne kind of book

  • Phil 5 years ago

    Fantastic book!!! Great prize…. Pick me pick me :-)

  • Nina 5 years ago

    Nice one – lovely images that speak heaps about the character of this city.

  • Katrina 5 years ago

    I would love this book!

  • That looks totally amazing. I really love typography and signwriting, especially of the vintage variety- looks totally up my alley!

  • Belinda 5 years ago

    Brilliant, bloody brilliant! Melbourne, type, the history and culture of the medium, the design aspects – props Stephen!
    I’m a librarian, so loving it big time – the type, the words, the design and cultural aspects appeal deeply.
    And all in a book….love it.
    I’ll be seeking out this book even if I don’t win this give away.

  • adrian 5 years ago

    just love books

  • Liz 5 years ago

    looks fantastic

  • Paul Griffiths 5 years ago

    Amazing looking book, ive already seen a few of the jesse marlow shots and they’re brilliant. All those hard to get Melbourne shots that you’ve always wanted!!! Cant wait to get a copy!!!

  • Emma 5 years ago

    What a great book, glad it’s getting out there. I’ve just moved to Adelaide, and although it’s beautiful, seeing this reminded me of what I miss about Melbourne xx

  • Grace 5 years ago

    Thanks for the chance to win this, it looks like a fascinating book!

  • Kate Dickson-Battye 5 years ago

    Stunning book, definitely one of my favourite subjects. I have to check it out.

  • Nicole Johnson 5 years ago

    Love it! Awesome photography.

  • Shelley 5 years ago

    Beauiful book, right up my alley :)

  • sophie 5 years ago

    Wow, the perfect combination of my two favourite ‘ographies’: typography and photography!

  • Allison 5 years ago

    Bummed out that I missed this one. Love signage, it is what we do and when it is done well it moves into the realm of public art!

  • kathyS 5 years ago

    I adore type and collect k’s

  • melski 5 years ago

    gorgeous! love the skipping girl vinegar gal

  • Uelkue O. 4 years ago

    oooooh…..looks great!!

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