Friday, June 03, 2005

Detroit Typography

Detroit is unique. It is decay. Every city has rough edges, but Detroit is rough all around. It isn't really scary though. Vacant. It embodies the sadness of the human condition. But within sadness there is hope. It is a multitude of stories within every building. There isn't too many safe little strip malls with big corporate names. Instead, a small business that is surviving. Struggling, but believing. And that is admirable.

The businesses don't have some awning with speedy signage templates and consistent city blocks with rules on how to put up your signs. Instead, there are handpainted expressions of the business owner. Maybe an overstatement, I'm sure that the business just needed a sign. But it is quite refreshing. Some are old and decayed, misspelled, but graphically inspiring. I know that David Carson is way into this phenomena as well, and loves Detroit for it. Anyway, here are some pix:

gotta love the high-tech name for a nail painting place

This is the Atlas Furniture bldg., where derrick may, carl craig, etc. were once at. maybe they still are, not sure. been to a few parties there back in the day.

This place now has a fresh clean awning. bummer. a great place to play still. used to be a huge vietnam vet hangout. the area used to be a thriving artist community late 60's. Plumb st., which is replaced by freeway.

Love the fading political poster.

A pizza place that was once a bank. Where else but Detroit.

Actually in Hamtramck, A city surrounded by Detroit.

We pronounce it Gra-shit.

This one is cool. Right at the end of a major st. I think Warren.

That's Detroit's no. 1 Cleaners. And Catfish, of course.

Then there is stuff like this. Usually unearthed when a building got knocked down or a newer sign was removed.

Some more of that. Ah. and the dot on the billboard. This is part of the Heidelberg project. Tyree Guyton, brilliant artist. Simplicity at its finest. A simple painted dot on a decayed building makes you look. Take second notice. They are all over the city. Even on the building we practice in.

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