Category Archives: Old Signs

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Confusion Hill: Piercy-Leggett, California

Here’s an excellent example of existential questions asked in hand-painted signage. Confusion Hill is located on Highway 101 in Piercy-Leggett, California nestled amongst the Humbolt Redwoods.

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Hot Dog, Egg Roll, Pretzel, Pizza: Washington DC 2007

The hand-painted signage on the food trucks around the Washington Monument in Washington DC are culture clash of stylistic non-sequiturs. They advertise food from the USA, Asia, Germany and Italy with lettering that combines elements of Roman and Indonesian alphabets.

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The Flamingo Hotel & Spa: Desert Hot Springs 2009

Here’s another treasure from last weekend’s trip to the desert. This faded pink trailer sits about 6 miles west of Desert Hot Springs on Pierson Boulevard. The Flamingo Hotel and Spa is now defunct, and I could find out little … Continue reading

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Hacienda Riviera: Desert Hot Springs 2009

The desert climate is interesting because it simultaneously destroys and preserves. This beautiful mid-century neon sign for the now abandoned Hacienda Riviera is located on Hacienda Avenue in Desert Hot Springs, California. The wind and sand have stripped away much … Continue reading

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Little City Meats: San Francisco 2009

When in San Francisco, meat lover’s and sign aficionados should stop by Little City Meats on 1400 Stockton Street in North Beach. The third generation owners run this butcher shop true to the spirit of their Italian ancestor who settled the area. It reminds me … Continue reading

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Cielito Lindo: Rosarito Beach, Baja, Mexico

Here, a sign painter in Northern Mexico worked this funky freehand cursive with a handful of sweet design tricks: chrome highlights, key lines, drop shadows. It’s slick and awkward at the same time, which makes it especially appealing. So appealing, … Continue reading

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Cerveza Modelo: Sayulita Mexico 2008

From Tijuana in the north to Cancun in the south, Mexico’s fantastic hand-painted signage is a national pop-cultural treasure. It would be fascinating to explore the regional variations in colors, typography and imagery. I discovered some great signs in the … Continue reading

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Juices Fountain: Los Angeles 2006

Sadly, the original Juices Fountain shack on Vine Street near Hollywood Boulevard was torn down to make room for the W Hotel and condos. Fortunately, Ms. Perez’s collection of brightly illustrated menu signs now live at her new place (now called … Continue reading

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Wabi-Sabi and the Appreciation of Old Signs

On Wabi-Sabi, the Japanese architect Tadao Ando writes: Pared down to its barest essence, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death. It’s simple, … Continue reading

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