Friday, June 24, 2011

Signs of the times

It is amazing how much a sign can tell you about everything from the time period when it originated, who it was/is aimed for, who was selling something, and how it was/is sold.  Just see here:

real hog for the people
Whole pig sign seen in a small neighborhood shop window in New York City that still have not been pushed out by the supermarkets.  But, this sign is not from this store, but from a store that closed and now the sign is an antique item used to attract customers.  Mr Hodges is probably long gone, only his sign lives on.  Fantastic handmade tin sign, don't you think?

Chelsea Wine vault
Ugly sign in neon, very designed, and very fancy.  It just oozes dollars. Overdesigned to a fault.  I bet the prices here at Chelsea Wine Vault in NYC are four to ten times the prices at Trader Joe's.

Miller's Pub, a historic Chicago restaurant
Now this sign is REAL, not just a design job.  A food establishment, Miller's Pub, in Chicago, with an old neon sign and the traditional letters in the white box.  Straight to the point, effective, and historic, and some people probably think it is very ugly.  But it is not over-designed and doesn't try to look like something it is not. This just oozes tradition and good food feeling. (Smelt is a kind of small fish, you eat them whole.)

this way to good food
This is my favorite kind of sign.  It is new, but made with old methods, and cleanly and clearly states what this is about. Somebody took the care to design it, and it is simply beautiful. You want buffalo meat, just come here!  (Readington Buffalo Farm, NJ)

Have you ever wondered why it is called DE-SIGN?  Like undoing signs?  Is a designer someone that unconstructs old signs into something new?  I wonder how the words sign and design really started.

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