Friday, December 28, 2012

Recognizing Bad Signage to have Good Signage

Walmart sign
For any brick and mortar, retail or wholesale business, good signage is essential to a business's success and image. A consumer frequenting a store of most any kind for the first time will agree that it was the superior quality of the signage that initially attracted him and peaked his curiosity to enter the store in the first place.

Color

The color combinations of bad commercial signage are truly awful. Bland, dull colors are usually used. They have no visual power or impact. They don't attract the eye and they're not the least bit enticing or exciting. Two of the most studied colors for powerful signage are red and yellow. Think of McDonald's. Red on a yellow background or yellow letters on a red background are probably the most visually impressive, potent and readable. These colors make customers want to enter the store; they draw them in because the human brain reacts in such a positive fashion to the colors red and yellow.

Font Style and  Word Length

If the font style is too thin and skinny, the sign will come across as weak. If the font is too slanted or angled or is too swirly or artistic, this too can render the sign completely unreadable. And if a sign is unreadable, what's the purpose of having the sign in the first place? The best fonts are large-sized, thick letters in all uppercase, and in the aforementioned colors. Signs with this type of font are the most noticeable and the easiest to read. They make an impression immediately after only one brief reading. Moreover, if a store has too many words in its name, that will also definitely hurt a sign. One or two words at most come across strongest. Think of Sears, Walmart, Burger King, Target, Dunkin' Donuts, Starbucks and Taco Bell.

Illumination

The strongest signs are also illuminated ones, whether the source of illumination is neon gas or some other type of glowing, lit background that's built into or embedded into each letter of each word. Signage that's not iluminated comes across as weak, ineffective and not persuasive. They don't draw in customers, even if the business is well known. Without illumination, it'll rarely, if ever, be a busy store, no matter what kind of business it is. If all the major retail stores in the world have illuminated signs, whether they're franchised or not, then there's a justifiable and proven reason for it to be so.

Sources/Hyperlink References

When a company or organization wants to ensure that its signage is powerful, persuasive and highly visible, they should definitely contact a trusted, highly reputable signage professional in their local area to ensure good signage. 

Posted by Eric S. Burke, guest blogger

Saturday, December 22, 2012

No More "Drugs" Signage

Why don't they have "Drugs" signs anymore?


Here's a thought. When you're out and about in our Walgreens/CVS society you might have noticed that the word "drugs" has disappeared from signage.

Keeping this fact in mind, why do you speculate that this is so when decades ago, they were commonplace? Seems as if "pharmacy" is the PC word today. Goodbye drugs; hello pharmacy.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Hey Dude, Sup?

Dude Motel, West Yellowstone, Montana

Hey dude, sup?

This sign in West Yellowstone, MT is a classic. Part neon and part plastic, the colors ring out yellow red and blue.

The term dude, first used in the late 19th century, referred to a meticulously-dressed guy.

In the late 1950s it became associated with the wild West when Dean Martin played John Wayne's drunk sidekick.

The modern meaning came about with the film Easy Rider when Peter Fonda's character "Wyatt" defined it as "a nice guy" or something similar.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

China Old Plastic Sign in Market

This old plastic sign in a China Market outdoors at night is a classic. I have no idea when this sign was built, but know for a fact that it was decades ago.

You can tell by its wear and tear, not to mention a view of the Chinese that could be a bit stereotypical, or not politically correct. Just as a word common in the mid-twentieth century--oriental or orient--is now taboo, many other stereotypes of Asians were common back then. 

Hmm...stereotypes of the Chinese by the Chinese...evidently so. These "China dolls" are typical the submissive and obedient caricatures that were common in the what-could-be-considered the Golden Age of Stereotypes in America.   

That word isn't used anymore, replacing it is the word Asian. Apparently the former denotes an "otherness" that to some is offensive.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wise Framing Decisions--The Essence of Fine Art Photography

Photographic prints are wonderful when framed, as are lithographs, paintings and digital art. When framing an image of a sign, I take great care to match the picture frame and have found some perfect custom picture frames online, frames that make the sign images I put in them pop out.

I get the images to look their best, appearing multidimensional with some picture framing basics, the most important being selecting light colored frame and mat for my images. Also, I always insist on glass, as that is what makes the image look the part--classy vintage art.

Keeping in mind that frame and mat are at the top of the list when it comes to selling art, I have made a careful decision in how the is looks framed. An outstanding effect takes place when I use chevron-colored frames with the best quality white rag mats, stunning additions that enhance the colors of my sign images.

In order for my image to fit snugly into the frame, I have to measure it correctly, remembering to measure the inside-of-the-frame dimensions then input the measurements into a framing calculator. When I get my frames delivered, I can get them out to the venders who sell my work. The process is a piece of cake once the frames are delivered.

Beautiful art work requires that I put in the time making the right design decisions. Just as my photographs need to be compelling and sharp--my framing has to meticulously planned.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Leeward Motel Sign on Biscayne Blvd in Miami, Florida



The colors on this Leeward Motel sign are phenomenal--robin's egg blue and yellow, so mid-century.

The motel sign (vintage motel signs framed prints) is a dying breed. Few motel signs of the mid-century remain. When a photographer spots one, he/she snaps away.

The motel sign has become somewhat of a tourist attraction in the United States. Check out Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood and you'll see one motel sign after another on the median strip.

america photos

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Graffit Gift

The walls of buildings and infrastructure throughout the world turned into the canvases for youth and impacted the world’s populace with shocking messages--a graffiti gift to passersby.

In the 60s The New York Times reported the trend of some young people tagging the subway walls and cars with their names. Soon, everyone wanted a piece of the action and graffiti became widespread. Most markings were scrawl, but some were a gift of art.

The gift came in the form of a man with talent in his hand. Artist Keith Herring brought this art form to a Golden Age by his artistic renditions on unused advertisement panels throughout New York City. Other artists followed suit and to this day, if you look hard, you can find graffiti that was Herring-inspired—bright contrasting colors with bold, clear shapes.

Considered a demon to some and art to others, this signage was a statement from artists who felt they had right to make public art for art’s sake and gang members who expressed their aggression on walls with text and image in a declaration of turf.

While the art world gave Herring wild accolades for his work, cities worldwide struggled to control tagging, or posting graffiti in conspicuous public places.

Herring, meanwhile had his work codified his work onto toys, books, games and other home accessories in Europe and the U.S.

In the Far East, artists worked to little notice on impressive murals that appeared throughout Asia by the end of the century.

holiday photos

Monday, September 24, 2012

Clam Broth House

Clam Broth House, Hoboken, New Jersey

Hoboken's a great city. Just across the Hudson River from Manhattan, it takes ten minutes by train to get to the Big Apple. The fare is $2. Stop by Carlo's Bakery when you are in Hoboken. It'll satisfy any sweet tooth craving you have.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Lost in America

Residents and travelers destined for the new freeways failed perceptions of a sense of place in America had Max Lerner, one of America's most influential journalists, label the sense of place a “problem” in America,

In his book published America as a Civilization, he wrote of the ill-defined communities in America, describing the nation’s citizenry as fragmented and unresolved. As he wrote the book, though, the architecture and popular culture of the country, began to take on a form of there own, an upgraded bigger and better American version. Nowhere can this be seen better than in the signage that was built in cities and towns and along highways across the nation.

During the twentieth century, Lerner saw America to be a democracy of informality, a place of bigness, and technological prowess. His vision became a truism with respect to the signage being built as well.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Let's Go Ice Skating

Ice Skating Sign
Ice skating sign in Ontario, California taken in 2003. The ice skating sign is no longer red and blue; it's brown and white.

I like it red and blue much better. After all, the color of the word "ICE" should have some blue in it because it signifies cold. Brrrr.

architecture art
Vintage Tucson Inn sign
One of my favorites. Look at the design; it's flawless. The Tucson Inn sign contains a pole for each letter of the word "Tucson." How clever is that?

Check out the arrow; it sweeps around the word "Inn" like ribbon on a Christmas package.

An added extra: A coffee shop sign behind the poles.

Finally, if you look really hard you'll find the Vacancy/No Vacancy sign attached to the first pole.

Genius designers, indeed.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Bowl Sign--Tall...Tall...Tall


Tall...tall...tall.

They just don't make them this tall anymore. Height used to be an important sign trait in most locations in the United States, except some of the places where there are a lot of hurricanes.

 Tall signs are grand, rising into the sky as if they were catching a bit of heaven. This "bowl" sign was taken in Southern California and still is there, unusual for such a big piece of neon.

The steel in this sign is classic as are the letters at the end of each soaring pole. I have several versions of this bowl sign and a few others like it-long live steel and neon.
sign prints

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Hotel Posada La Media Luna, San Cristobal de Las Casas, Mexico

Hotel Posada La Media Luna, San Cristobal de Las Casas, Mexico
Wow! Long name. Go ahead and say it to yourself: Hotel Posada La Media Luna in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico.

This hotel is well worth looking into. It's right by all the action--bars, clubs, coffee houses and restaurants.

Chiapas, Mexico has some of the most improved infrastructure in Mexico. Don't fool yourself into believing that this Southern state is riddled with drug violence.


Not only did I stay in the lovely colonial city of San Cristobal de Las Casas, I also took the bus to the ruins at Polenque, a windy trip through poor villages, thick forests and crystal clear air. Not one sign of any disruptions by the drug cartels.

The color and beauty of Mexico's interior should not be missed. The weather is almost perfect year-round and the tasty food is half the price of what it is in the United States.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Advertise on Palm Springs Daily Photo

Palm Springs Daily Photo Featured Posts

Featured posts are news posts about your business. They are a permanent fixture on the Internet and are found by Google in searches Internet surfers make using Google.

Why have a post for your business? 

You’ll be found because the words in the post will be SEO (Search Engine Optimized) so that many keywords will in your post can be placed on Google’s first page. Google has a keyword tool in which does an analysis on any word(s) you use in your post. It shows the frequency of the word used in published pages as well as the frequency of the word in searches. Finding words that are not used much by publishers, but are often searched for is the name of the game for successful placement on Google.

Pricing

Intro post of your choice 250 words is $20.

Requires business emailing the post (or notes for the post) to matthewbam@aol.com along with an image of business' choice—quite a deal.

 Links are $5 apiece (links help you out in Google placement).

 Set up visit is $20. Extra words are $20 for 250 words.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

No More Neon!

Lady Bird Johnson wasn't a fan of neon signage.
The wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson had had enough of America’s beautiful landscape littered by neon.

In the 1960s, she became an advocate for a highway beautification program in the United States.

She influenced her husband, President Johnson, to sign the Highway Beautification Act, where he stated that he didn’t choose “to hide from view what God has gladly given it.”

Neon signs were the culprits that blocked the views so that the Golden Age of Neon halted thereafter.

By the 1970s many cities passed ordinances limiting signage. The popularity of neon waned for nearly a generation.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Graffiti Gift

The walls of buildings and infrastructure throughout the world turned into the canvases of youth and impacted the world’s populace with shocking messages.

In the 60s The New York Times reported the trend of some young people tagging the subway walls and cars with their names. Soon, everyone wanted a piece of the action and graffiti became widespread. Most markings were scrawl, but some were a gift of art.

The gift came in the form of a man with talent in his hand. Artist Keith Herring brought this art form to a Golden Age by his artistic renditions on unused advertisement panels throughout New York City. Other artists followed suit and to this day, if you look hard, you can find graffiti that was Herring-inspired—bright contrasting colors with bold, clear shapes.

Considered a demon to some and art to others, this signage was a statement from artists who felt they had right to make public art for art’s sake and gang members who expressed their aggression on walls with text and image in a declaration of turf.

While the art world gave Herring wild accolades for his work, cities worldwide struggled to control tagging, or posting graffiti in conspicuous public places.Herring, meanwhile, had his work codified his work onto toys, books, games and other home accessories in Europe and the U.S.

In Asia, artists worked to little notice on impressive murals that appeared throughout Asia by the end of the century.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Saying Goodbye to Phone Booths

Everyone knows that the typical landlines are quickly becoming a thing of the past. To be sure, they still exist in homes and businesses everywhere, but their appearance on the street—phones inside hallow rectangular prisms, a safe, quiet place for callers to duck the sounds of traffic on the street--is dwindling as more and more people chat on cell phones in the open air.
Many phone booths, such as those in several cities in Bolivia went mod in the 60s, in the form of phones housed inside bird sculptures as they had (and still have) in the city of Sucre, Bolivia. In Morocco, phone booths are called teleboutiques. Others around the world varied in color from icy blues to fiery reds.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Hello Hollywood

Hollywood has always been an inspiration to artists all around the world, and the legends of the twentieth century starlets appeared everywhere in Las Vegas.

In the early 1990s actress Debbie Reynolds bought a hotel and plastered it with murals of her favorite stars.

The hotel was demolished after Reynolds declared bankruptcy some five years later.
cafe art

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Ghost Signs

These painted wall signs can be found in cities that were created in the late 1800s.

By the late 20th century some of the signs remained and became known as ghost signs.

They contain faded and peeling paint, often revealing a pentimento effect, one image showing through another.

The lead paints and other chemicals used to create the signs, durable yet toxic, exposed the sign painters, who were often called wall dogs, to an environmental hazards at the same time as they made art that seemed to last forever. vintage photos

Tuesday, January 03, 2012