Sunday, May 27, 2012

Photo: A Sign of the Times

Like everything else, signage evolves. It has to. The memetic environment has grown consistently fiercer over the last hundred years, with arrays of things all vying for the strictly limited attention of passers-by. Eighty years ago people used hand-painted signs on the sides of buildings, after the war Vancouver became one of the world capitals of neon signage, and today you'll find signs that are mostly clear, bold, and simple.

Still, there are some survivors from old times - and far from being out of style, their very uniqueness and out-of-step nature makes them more successful in drawing attention. Take the Safeway at Lonsdale and 13th in North Vancouver; unlike the streamlined, boxes of today, it hearkens back to the Googie architectural sensibilities of the 1950s and early 1960s.I took a picture of the sign when I was through there last weekend; a piece of a different world that managed to survive into this one.

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