LIGHT CAPSULES

Reviving a fading era with light.

A series of ghost sign projections shine a light on history, all around the world.

In a world overflowing with new technologies, we tend to push ahead without looking back.

Light Capsules is a series of projection mapped light installations around the world that reanimate historical ghost signage and engage local communities around these forgotten artifacts.

There’s an extra element of excitement in signs that are incredibly worn or have multiple layers—The best ghostsigns candidates to become Light Capsules have multiple layers, called palimpsests, providing a compelling canvas which digital recreations can bring a focus to specific layer in time. Projection is ephemeral, non-damaging, and non-invasive, providing a strong preservation solution that traditional mediums can't provide. Using light as a medium, we can visually explore the stories of every layer, seeing how a building changed throughout the years.

Each Light Capsule involves research into the history of the signage, exploring the story of the business or the painter behind it. Dr. Ken Jones’ collection of more than 7,000 signs has proved a valuable resource in discovery. Legendary sign painters like John Downer and Mike Meyer have provided insight into the methods and process of sign painters through history. 

Each wall is photographed, stitched in Photoshop, vectorized in Illustrator, animated in After Effects, and then projection mapped back onto the original wall with MadMapper.

You can read more about the process of making the signs in an in-depth post on my work in Astoria, OR, or about the Adobe Creative Residency that brought this project to life.

The next step for light capsules involves augmented reality, a series of prints, and opening the project up for others to contribute.

FEATURED ON 
The Atlantic — CityLab
Adobe Create #3
National Trust for Historic Preservation

FastCo Design
Adobe Create
 #1
Portland Monthly
KGW Portland Live Video
Adobe Create #2
It's Nice That
AIGA Eye on Design
British Council: LDF Top Pick
Creative Review
Working Not Working Blog
Neatorama

Upcoming Light Capsules.

There are no upcoming locations announced yet.
Want to bring history to life near you? Reach out!

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Previous Light Capsules.

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018 — Dillen Rogers

StormBreaker Brewing, Portland, OR

017 — Jacobs & Gile

1244 SE Water Ave, Portland, OR

016 — Overland Cars

724 NW Davis St, Portland, OR

014 — Hotel Philip

10 NW 5th Ave, Portland, OR

013 — Detroit, MI + Miss Van

1301 Maple St, Detroit, MI 48207
Augmenting Miss Van's 2015 piece for Murals in the Market.

009 — Barlow & Roberts

33 Redcross Way, London UK

008 — Take Courage

19 Park St, London UK
Building constructed 1807, Courage Beer sign painted post-1955.

007 — Portland Co.

100 Fore St
Iconic sign of the Portland, ME waterfront, building set for potential demolition.

006 — Portland, ME

320 Fore St. Built in 1833
Survived the Great Fire of 1866. Williams Bros. Co. 1930

005 — Cincinnati, OH

118 East 9th Street
The last remaining sign of Chuck Keiger, Special thanks Ronny Salerno, and the American Sign Museum.

004 — Astoria, OR

904 Commercial St. Built 1924
Astoria Sign Co., Carl Laine & Sons Tailors, Nyman-Judge Inc. Buster Brown Shoes, Ahrens Grocery

003 — Portland, OR

1204 SE Water Ave
Jacobs & Gile Steel Jobbers.

002 — Joseph, OR

101 W McCully Ave
Shell Oil Company.

001 — Burlington, VT

47 Maple St. Built 1919
Public Service Paper Co.

013 — Detroit, MI + Miss Van

1301 Maple St, Detroit, MI 48207
Augmenting Miss Van's 2015 piece for Murals in the Market.

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LDF Intermission — 'Worldwide' Party

The Distillery Bar, 2-8 Great Suffolk St, London SE1 0UG, UK

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008 — Take Courage

19 Park St, London UK
Building constructed 1807, Courage Beer sign painted post-1955.

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007 — The Portland Company

100 Fore St
Iconic sign of the Portland, ME waterfront, building set for potential demolition.

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006 — Portland, ME

320 Fore St
Building constructed 1833. Survived the Great Fire of 1866. Williams Bros. Co. 1930

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005 — Cincinnati, OH

118 East 9th Street
The last remaining sign of Chuck Keiger, Special thanks Ronny Salerno, and the American Sign Museum.

004 — Astoria, OR

904 Commercial St. Built 1924
Astoria Sign Co., Carl Laine & Sons Tailors, Nyman-Judge Inc. Buster Brown Shoes, Ahrens Grocery

003 — Portland, OR

1204 SE Water Ave
Jacobs & Gile Steel Jobbers.

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002 — Joseph, OR

101 W McCully Ave
Shell Oil Company.

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001 — Burlington, Vermont

47 Maple St. Built 1919
Public Service Paper Co.

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