100% Funded


Target: €5436


€5,437 Raised


127 Funders

Layers: Design & History of Cork Signs

By Tom Spalding



What links a dedicated group of Irish patriots and language enthusiasts, a German Nobel Laureate, a British general and three Queens, Benito Mussolini, the AA and a group of Irish fascists? The answer is they all had roles to play in the design and appearance of Ireland’s street signage. This book concentrates on the development of street signage in Cork from 1750 to 2000, with some diversions to Dublin, Belfast and Bristol along the way. This accessible study is presented in a number of thematic chapters which touch on the major forces which shaped Ireland’s history in the last quarter of a millennium, and how they left their impression, literally, on the streets of Ireland’s third city.

This book is a book about names and their physical manifestation, signs. It is the first fruit of almost three years of dedicated study into the history of Cork and is the first published study into public signage ever produced in the Republic of Ireland.

It will be of interest to graphic designers, local historians, genealogists, social geographers and those interested in the social and industrial history of Ireland.

The Book

The book will be a high-quality professional production and will be designed by one of Ireland’s leading graphic design companies. It will also be typeset, printed and distributed in Ireland, helping to keep jobs on the island.

A limited edition of 25 hard-back copies with a very special typographic binding and appropriately designed end-papers is available. Other rewards include guided tours and even a chance to design a personalised street sign for home décor!

The Author

My name is Tom Spalding, and I have worked as an engineer, as a designer and as a lecturer in the Dublin Institute of Technology. This is my third book on Cork’s built environment and follows on from my previous project on recording my city’s historic street furniture ‘Cork City: A Field Guide to its Street Furniture’.


More than half the funding has already been raised from private sponsors as well as a contribution from Cork City Council. I have put over 2,000 man hours into the project, and also providing some funding. As far as I’m concerned, this project is a not-for-profit initiative. The balance of the funding is to pay for reproduction rights to a small number of images, and for typesetting, printing and distributing the manuscript in an edition of 1,100 copies.

I'll be keeping sponsors updated via the activity tab on Fund it and through Facebook. I shall also be using my contacts in the local online and traditional media in Cork to raise awareness of the project. A .pdf of my booklet on Cork’s architecture can be downloaded and a iWalk (MP3) self-guided tour associated with the publication and reviews of another of my books can be seen in the links attached.