• OTHER STUFF

    VERNACULAR TYPOGRAPHY AT USAGI NY

    In October 2015, Usagi NY will present the first exhibition of Vernacular Typography. Found lettering and other forms of urban communication have a way of creating and preserving a sense of place and local identity. Vernacular Typography is a celebration of the symbols and icons that surround us every day–the texture of a city that often goes overlooked or ignored. Usagi NY is a new 2,800 sq ft concept store in DUMBO Brooklyn, which houses a gallery, cafe, and library. Offering a marketplace for creators, the shop opens its doors to creative practitioners working in the differ- ent fields, presenting the work and process of emerging, influential creative thinkers and specialists such as artists, designers,…

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  • OTHER STUFF,  THINGS

    GRAPHIQUE DE LA RUE

    All over the world, beautiful signage is being destroyed and replaced by homogenized signs that threaten to erase local culture and history. In Paris–where even public restroom signage is worthy of intricate and inventive mosaic detailing–that loss is devastating. Graphique de la Rue is Louise Fili’s Parisian follow up to last year’s typographic wander through Italy, Grafica della Strada. Fili’s collection of the Parisian letterscape beautifully captures and celebrates the forms that mark, illuminate, and symbolize the city’s boulevards and rues. Like a typographic madeleine through the streets of Paris, the signs documented in Graphique de la Rue are a powerful trigger of memory and evoke a strong sense of…

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  • OTHER STUFF,  PHOTOS,  SIGNS

    VERNACULAR MEATOGRAPHY

    Vegetarians, avert your gaze. Fewer things go better together than meat and whatever is next to meat. In the open dining rooms of many a Texas meatery, that companion to meat just so happens to be typography (printed, painted, scrawled, drawn, lettered, what have you). The signs of these establishments are honest and direct. In all shapes, styles, and formats (and sometimes obscured by decades of smokey oak) they unequivocally point the way to meat. What follows is a pictorial survey of the meat and corresponding typography & lettering of some of the finest BBQ I have ever known.

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  • Woodward_Vernacular Typography_Montreal_026
    PHOTOS,  SIGNS

    MONTRÉAL PREVIEW

    A quick preview of lettering and typography in Montréal. Because of Quebec’s strict language laws, French is the dominant language on street signs and in commercial signage. Multi-lingual signs in Israel (here & here) and Ireland (here).

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  • Molly Woodward Vernacular Typography New Orleans Royal Pharmacy Storefront Sign
    PHOTOS,  SIGNS

    NEW ORLEANS PREVIEW

    An assorted sample of vernacular typography and lettering found recently in New Orleans. There’s no single dominant style of lettering, but rather a mix of everything (hand painted, hand scrawled, fading ghost ads–many layered over even older ghost signs, tile, neon, and about any other type of signage imaginable). The connecting thread seems to be the omnipresent plastic beaded necklaces twisted and dangling over most signs. Also, beignets. Follow @VernacularType

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  • OTHER STUFF,  SIGNS

    SARONY

    Recent construction has revealed the ghostly remnants of an ad applied to the side of 37 Union Square West. The ornate sign, partially obscured by a window frame, was illegible on its own, but a Library of Congress image of Union Square West from 1894 shows a clearer view of the same swirly signature, which reads Sarony. Below his signature, an even fainter “Portraits” is (barely) visible. Napoleon Sarony was a Canadian-born artist and lithographer living in New York. He moved to Europe in the 1850s for formal artistic training and later learned wet plate photography from his brother, a successful commercial photographer in England. In 1866, he moved back…

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