• OTHER STUFF,  PHOTOS,  SIGNS

    WOODSIDE PRESS

    I just picked up some letterpress invitations printed at the incredible Woodside Press in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The press originally opened in 1993 in Woodside, Queens after acquiring equipment from the American Type Founders Company liquidation. In 1998, they moved to their current space, which is filled to the brim with amazing type paraphernalia and not just one, but two Linotype machines. They were nice enough to let me look around at some of their amazing stuff. Click through for more

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  • PHOTOS,  SIGNS

    SUNSET PARK STOREFRONTS

    As more and more small businesses in New York are being replaced by large retail chains and banks, there are still a few neighborhoods–mostly in the outer boroughs–that retain some of their independence. Here are a few examples from a recent walk through Sunset Park in Brooklyn:

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  • EPHEMERA,  PHOTOS,  SIGNS

    PRIME BURGER

    The Prime Burger, one of my favorite places in the city, is sadly closing on Saturday. They’ve been in business since 1938. I’ve enjoyed their hand-painted signs, camouflaged faux bois clock, nice people, and bacon-related foods since 1986. Bye Sandro.

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  • OTHER STUFF,  PHOTOS,  SIGNS

    MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY TYPOGRAPHY

    Some beautiful typography from inside the New York State Environment Hall at the Museum of Natural History. The exhibit opened in 1951 and doesn’t look like it’s been touched since then. It analyzes the geological history of a 40 square mile area of Dutchess County. I emailed the Museum’s librarian to find out more about the lettering in the hall, but didn’t learn very much (“Unfortunately, we do not have this information in our archives but the labels would have been created by the graphics team since there has been a graphics department in the Museum from very early on in the Museum’s history”). Thanks to everybody who’s already donated to…

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  • DESIGN RESEARCH,  EPHEMERA,  PHOTOS

    MANHOLE COVERS OF WILLOW STREET

    The four block stretch of Willow Street from Pierrepont to Cranberry in Brooklyn Heights has over 50 different manhole and chute covers. Most of the examples below are coal chutes rather than manhole covers, used for the delivery of coal from a truck to the basement furnaces in brownstones. Whereas manholes are usually found in the street and approximately the size of a burly man, coal chutes are smaller and built on the sidewalk or directly in front of houses. The most common covers on Willow Street are the Howell & Saxtan coal chute covers. Howell & Saxtan was in business from 1866 to the 1890s and owned by James Howell…

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  • EPHEMERA,  OTHER STUFF,  PHOTOS,  SIGNS

    TYPO 45

    An article I wrote about ghost signs around Brooklyn and Manhattan is the cover story in the new issue of TYPO Magazine. TYPO is a quarterly bilingual English-Czech design magazine devoted to the study of typography in context with other disciplines like architecture, urban design, photography, philosophy, and sociology. You can order a hard copy or download a digital copy of issue 45 HERE. A preview: If you’re interested in supporting Vernacular Typography, please visit the Artspire website to learn more about a tax-deductible donation. Vernacular Typography is a fiscally sponsored project of Artspire, a Program of New York Foundation for the Arts 501(c)3.

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