It's a Sign

It's Superb!

I love this.

A jolly mintox Octopus Sign.

Beautifully conceived and prepared: The preparation of the building in white is just as important as the fine, grey octopus.

Every councillor must understand how signage affects their disctrict, for good and for bad.

And this is a good one.

And, oh - look: a Ford Falcon something-or-other done in burnt tobacco racing green.

Hooked Healthy Seafood, 172 Chapel Street, Windsor, Australia

And here's Chapel Street, Windsor. A bit. From Duke's Coffee Roasters, 169 Chapel Street.

Followed by a shop-a-dog down the road at Surace Fresh, 233 Chapel Street, Prahran

I Get Off On This

'When the world is grey and the feeling is lonely, you can always go ... downtown'

Or so the famous song nearly went. But check this out.

Why isn't the world paying attention (to me, mainly)? Hot shopfronts are where it's at. They make streets tolerable, walkable ... and that means you meet more people and have more friends, which means you will die later.

So suck up all your taxes donated throughout your lifetime by hanging around a longer, have more lovers, and get off on shopfronts in the meantime.

Above: Mariana Hardwick Flagship Store, Hardwick Bulding, 459 Sydney Road, Brunswick, Australia.

Above: Olive Grove Studios, 159 Sydney Road, Brunswick. Noice.

Alas: Sydney Road, Brunswick, Australia.

More Streetfront Improvement by a Retailer


Above: It's the choices of the retailer and the permissions or non-interference of the local authority and landlord which effect improvements in the community: the public realm, the pedestrian network - the safety, comfort and interestingness of our neighbourhoods and districts.

Zingongo Gallery, 47 Lefroy Road, South Fremantle, Australia

Remede in Glyde Street, Mosman Park

Above: Remede Wellness Medicine, 13 Glyde Street, Mosman Park, Australia

Formally 'Mosman Video'.

Not only is their external colour and paint-job first rate, but so is their signage.  It is 3-dimensional, and is not the drab and generally-awful, flat, ubiquitous, sheet-metal signage found elsewhere.

Lots of beauty clinics could have taken this property.

But the right one did.  Their choices increase the value of the property, attract the right neighbours who will endeavour to match their high standards, improve the user-experience of the street and, generally, improve the community.

Thank you, Remede.

Three things 'Heritage' gives us in Managing our Business Districts

This shopfront sign in Bay View Terrace is a beauty.

It is on the Westpac Bank and is a great innovation.

It describes the local business history of the people.

What do you get when you are given history or 'heritage'?

  1. Distinctiveness: things that are unique to your place are the stories.  They cannot be replicated elsewhere and this makes your place more interesting and competitive.
  2. Entertainment: discovering local, distinct stories is fun.  Placing them among the business district is a relieving contrast to the day's shopping or daily errands.  Business-stories are fascinating to people too - everyone has their own story of the 'shops in the olden days' - even if that was 2001!
  3. Comfort - a sense that people care enough to recall and display local stories reminds us that this place is all about community - the economy is just a sweet by-product of that.

Thank you, Westpac.

Above: Shopfront detail on the Westpac Bank, 27 Bay View Terrace in Claremont, Australia.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em - Green Apple vs Woolworths in South Yarra

- at Vogue Shopping Plaza, 670 Chapel Street, South Yarra, Australia

If you don't get it, you're from Atwell.

It's a sign 2

Once upon a time I was walking along Market Street.  It was early morning - about 6.30am.  The air and atmosphere was wonderful as the city was waking up.

I saw a man.  He was a painter-man. He was a sign painter man - probably the last one on earth.

He had - by hand - drawn the most beautiful graphic upon a shop facia you would ever hope to see.

He then begin to paint it in by hand with a $1,000 brush which hugged every border.  It was astonishing so I gave him my questions.

He said that he was a full time signwriter (by hand).  He said that computerisation was killing him off.

Well, he's long gone now, and so is his sign on Market Street.

I like old hand painted signs but they don't do them anymore.  Yes they fade and yes they need maintenance but they give a patina which is pleasant.

Signs tacked on with a sheet of tin not only give you the lettering of the business but also a large rectangular backplate.  Direct lettering means there is less unnecessary or non-essential elements forming part of the picture.

Most shopping centres have signage which is three dimensional - the letters are tacked on one by one to spell the business name.  This avoids the 'big backplate' issue.

The below picture is indicative of the change in retail design materials over the years.  The building is a Class A heritage one, but I can see the old signage hasn't been restored (even if it is only a 1980s sign).

Signage is something that slips through the net at most local governments.  But there's so much to gain from high quality signage that some guidance and/or regulation will give a beautiful effect throught the city.

Shopping centres know this - high quality signage is a must there.

Film and Television Institute (WA) Inc, 92 Adelaide Street, Fremantle, Australia (Cantonment Street frontage)