Spotted this morning at London's Giddyup Coffee in Fortune Park (near the Barbican): this terrific Venn diagram/grill menu. Haven't tried Giddyup's grill, but it's my daily morning coffee, and it is spectacular.
Growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, this 1950s Arby's sign was an icon of suburban life (before suburbia meant the former farmlands 40 minutes out from downtown.) In fact, just seeing this photo makes me hanker for a Beef'n Cheddar and Potato Cake (More specifically, the 1970s versions of those items. No Horsey Sauce though.) Sadly, the classic sign is in jeopardy. The Finneytown location where the sign stands tall is closed for remodeling and rebranding and the sign is slated for demolition. Community calls to Arby's resulted in the company offering to donate the sign to Cincinnati's excellent American Sign Museum. Once it's disassembled though, the Sign Museum still needs financial help to transport, repair, and install the sign at its new home.
USA USA USA
Snapped this weekend at a movie theater in London: an automated ticket machine (confusingly abbreviated to "ATM" -- namespace collision ahoy!) with a sign on it explaining that if you don't want to cancel your transaction, you should press "cancel," while if you want to cancel your transaction, by all means, press "retry."
Not a bad childrearing philosophy, if you ask me.
Source unknown) (Thanks, @DrinkyMcEyeball)
The London Underground workers made a funny.
(Thanks, Fipi Lele!)
(Image: source unknown -- if you know it, please leave details in the comments)
A New Aesthetic eruption I caught yesterday off Brick Lane in east London: this LCD adverscreen displaying rotating, chiding public safety messages beneath a CCTV camera, nestled among the graffiti-daubed old buildings above the cobbled and thronged street.
The Olympics are still months away, the surface-to-air missiles are still tucked safely in their beds, but already our talented signwriters are practicing night and day for the 100m passive-aggressive signmaking event, judging by this sweet number I photographed yesterday.
Here's the backstory behind the iconic "Keep Calm and Carry On" posters. Though 2.5 million were printed, they were never officially issued as they were reserved for crisis or invasion. 50 years later, Barter Books of Northumberland discovered a copy of the poster in a box of books from auction, and framed and hung it. They started selling copies a year later, and the rest is history.
There's little provenance for this photo and the distinctive service offered therein (just a note that it was "donated" by Andrew Wightman), but it appears to date back some while. I don't suppose musical gorillas are still on offer in this hurly-burly modern age.
Ali Johnson sez,
Song Map is a new litho print by Dorothy. The Map is, as its name suggests, made up entirely from song titles: Highway to Hell stretches past Itchycoo Park, Heartbreak Hotel can be found on Alphabet Street and take a left off Penny Lane to find 22 Acacia Avenue. Just like places in our own neighbourhood, some are really good and some are best avoided - remember Love House by Sam Fox? Probably best forgotten.
The print, which was inspired by our own unhealthy obsession with music, is for the ultimate music nerd. It includes an A-Z of all the songs featured on the Map with the names of the artists and bands that sang them. Prints costs £20 each plus P & P and they are available to buy from www.wearedorothy.com/buy
We've set up a Playlist on Spotify to accompany the Map at http://spoti.fi/wzBFnp. This is a list of 353 of the featured songs that are available on Spotify. It's unedited so it includes some classics as well as some horrors! And one of the songs included on the Map is by a band one of us was in, but we’re not saying which one.
On my way to Dallas-Fort Worth airport today, I snapped this picture of the sticker on the inside of the back-seat passenger-side window of my taxi. It warns "The method used to authenticate credit card transactions for approval is not secure and personal information is subject to being intercepted by unauthorized personnel." There's some history there, I'm guessing. Consumer warnings are very nice, but I'm left wondering why they don't just update the firmware on the credit-card box with some decent crypto (unless this is because they use a CB radio to call in card numbers, which is pretty danged foolish).
A near-perfect example of the monster-movie drive-in poster-maker's art.
I am slowly digesting a rather large semi-traditional Christmas dinner, courtesy of my Welsh-English wife, but this glorious sign brings me vividly back to my childhood with my Jewish-atheist family.
Update: Looks like this is a tribute to a David Mamet cartoon.
Vintage Ads poster Write_light rounds up a collection of WWII "gremlins" safety posters, beauties every one.
Spotted in @carriebish's Twitter, this insane and menacing shop-window sign about an improbable sky-diving trip and a fraught marriage.
From the Boing Boing Flickr Pool, a nicely composed shot of an upbeat Occupy Wall Street (?) protest sign with flowers, taken by Sleepy Armadillo.
Earlier this summer, a nice group of people approached me at my signing at the CMU bookstore in Pittsburgh, PA and handed me a copy of Pittsburgh Signs Project, a photography book that features glorious photos of Pittsburgh's beautiful vintage signs. It turns out that two of the people giving me the book were among its editors, and they'd come by especially because I'd played an unwitting role in the project's genesis. Back in 2003, I blogged a set of photos of I'd snapped of Denver's signs (I'd been there for a conference and after a couple days I was so overwhelmed by the signs I kept seeing in passing that I jumped in my rental car and spent the afternoon shooting), and this, in turn, had inspired the founding of the Pittsburgh Signs Project, which invited the pittsburghese to send in their favorite images. Before long, they had a book's worth of astounding signs from many eras and of many genres, from every county in the area.
The editors -- Jennifer Baron, Greg Langel, Elizabeth Perry and Mark Stroup -- then gathered up their favorites and arranged them thematically, with brief essays and short snips of text from the photographers. But the words aren't the important bit, the photos are, and they're really something. The layout of the book hints at the lineage of the signs; of rival liquor store owners who duelled with typography; of peeling hand-painted ancestors from the dawn of commercial advertising; of careful, handmade steel typography over a metal-shop's awning. Put together, they make a sort of poetry.
I've always said that the way to make something beautiful is to make a million near-identical versions of it, let the ravages of time remove nearly all those versions, and put the remainder under glass (this is why we love Craftsman houses, Victorian row houses, old comic books, etc). Here's a great example of the phenomena: merely by withstanding time these totally quotidian objects have become evocative relics.