The Signs and Murals of Deep Ellum

One day in late spring, just before the weather got hot here in Dallas, I took my camera down to Deep Ellum. This is a hippie/artsy neighborhood just east of downtown. It’s seen the best of times and the worst of times. Today it’s somewhere in the middle, angling for its umpteenth gentrification. Deep Ellum is known for its street art: murals, stencils, tiles, graffiti and neon signs dot the landscape. Here are some of the best I found on a bright spring day.


Deep Ellum sign

There are several signs like this, but this one is in the best shape.

Aged Deep Ellum Sign

This sign has seen better days. I like how you can still sort of see the sign underneath it.

Deep Ellum mask sign

Funky mask

Murray Street Coffee sign cut-out

I like the way this old street sign was all cut up.

Twisted Root Burgers and Beer sign

Burgers and beer. Two of my favorite things.

The Free Man Music sign

Went to this place recently. It was fun.

El Creative sign

I like the little icons on this sign.

Eat at Ubers sign

Never been here, but I like the sign.

Boyds Hotel sign

No. This place is not still in business. Though I wish someone would fix it up.

Man Bites Dog sign

Almost looks more like a TV network than a bar.


Deep Ellum fish mural

Welcome to 深 Ellum.

Bird on a Wire mural

One of my favorite murals in Deep Ellum.

Super Mario mural

I love the Super Mario mural, though they painted over it recently.

Pacman Ghost stencil

This is what happened to the last guy trying to photograph the Mario mural

Home Concepts sign

This looks like a Roy Liechtenstein painting, but without the halftone dots.

Which of the signs in this gallery do you like the most? And if you’ve been to Deep Ellum, is there a work of art that you particularly care for? Let me know in the comments section.

Steve Lovelace

Steve Lovelace is a writer and graphic artist. After graduating Michigan State University in 2004, he taught Spanish in Samoa before moving to Dallas, Texas. He blogs regularly at

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9 Responses

  1. Paul says:

    Nice shots Steve. Just to shed some light on two of those signs… the Deep Ellum ones, they’ve actually been redone and the one you’re saying has seen better days is how they both looked when they were originally done. The artist wanted an old historical feel.

    • Paul,

      I had a feeling that was the case, given the similar shape between the two signs. I’m glad they left one of the two unfinished. It’s interesting to see the layers of history.

  2. Cindy Bell says:

    Love neon, ghost neon, and ghost signs, and generally unusual stuff. Never really walked around Deep Ellum, but I will now, just to look for these things! Awesome pics!

    • Cindy,

      Deep Ellum is definitely worth walking around on a sunny day. Last spring, I also did a charity scavenger hunt there, so I’ve got a bunch of pictures from that too. I’ll have to post them one day soon.

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