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 place. For those unfamiliar with the signs or Paris, the book acts as a transportive introduction that can be appreciated aesthetically as well as for its historic value.
Some signs are ornate, others wordless, sometimes odd, but mostly, they’re just beautiful.
A small graveyard in the back of the book mourns the loss (and subsequent replacement) of a few of Fili’s favorites, and serves as a reminder of the uncertain future of these typographic landmarks.
Graphique de la Rue will be available from Princeton Architectural Press September 1.