Thursday, December 9, 2010

New Signage in the Neighborhood

New signage has been appearing up and down MLK Avenue ... some good-looking, some not-so-amazing-looking.

Branding and signage is one of the most valuable things a business can invest in. On one side of the coin, people often like the underdog "we don't care about things like that" businesses. They're good because they're good, not because they have flashy signage. But when it's presented to them, people tend to appreciate creativity and a sense of legitimacy when they're looking to patronize a business. Here are a few new examples:

Uniontown's conservative lettering brings a new sense of heft to the corner of W and MLK. The kind of "sense of history" and "this is a real business" heft the neighborhood needs to build on.

the hive is open for business and has some new window decals that show off the creative and entrepreneurial spirit of the shared business center.

and the entrance flag sign...

ANC 8-A's offices adjacent to Big Chair went for a much more utilitarian look. The information is there, and as quasi-boring as it is, it kinda fits with the simple art deco of the building.

While I don't think it's the end of the world (and I don't 100% mind it), there's something a little too "Clip Art" about the new Big Chair signage. At this point I'm just glad it doesn't light up.

What do you think? Could the neighborhood be doing better, or is this a good standard to keep up?


Steve D said...

Definitely love the Uniontown sign and totally agree with you about heft and legacy. Makes it look like an old place that has been there for a long time and takes a positive step backwards in time. I know you're making the best of it, but the ANC-8A sign is really pretty awful, and does nothing to go with the art deco lettering. They could do sometime similar with a pretty inexpensive mounted sign in true art deco style, something which is in great supply around DC. One of my favorites is the GAO building in Chinatown. And the old LOC storage place in Petworth. Simple, thin, metal lettering is all that's required.

Granted, it'd cost far more than what 8A would ever want to spend on a sign, but subtler art deco buildings like that require uniformity to truly showcase the full effect of that style. The GAO buiding is so simple and without the lettering, would lose its impact. So I'm dreaming, but it would be awesome. Art Deco lettering styles are one of my faves.


Sariane Leigh said...

Can the sign-age be funky and fun? Sure, alot of it may be rundown or tattered but why must it lack color or life? Shouldn't it reflect the pulse of the community? Uniontown looks really sterile and blah. I prefer the folksy Big Chair Sign. Or maybe some cool 70's retro. DC has enough blah, grey black and white buildings. SE should have color and life. Well, either way fresh is good and variety is the spice of life.