Signs are everywhere, but not all signs are created equal!
On recent trip through New England I was surprised by the high-caliber of retail signage. From Harvard Square to Portland independent retailers are sporting custom logo-marks and individually designed signs that beckon entry into stores that are typically as unique as the signs. The plethora of these signs in towns like Portland underscores that independent retailers are alive and well and that towns are writing signage ordinances that encourage artfully designed and pedestrian oriented signage.
In the corporate retail landscape, particularly on highway strips, there is homogeneity of sameness that is blanketing the country. It is the independent retailers that enliven the environment and make a statement – just because they are different. In the 1972 book Learning from Las Vegas the authors made a point that architects didn’t want to do commercial architecture at that time – well have times changed: now architects as well as graphic designers, and branding specialist are tripping over themselves to get this type of work. The results are compelling particularly as you travel to smaller towns where the national retailers do not have as strong as a presence.
Bottom Line: As the level and sophistication of design keeps rising, the good news is that it’s become more affordable for businesses to create authentic identities that represent the true nature of their business. Compelling branding is no longer the sole purview of large corporations. As design becomes more important to business, more talent and services in the design industry are available to support those needs and as a result the caliber of the results keeps on rising. Good design is good business!