As I fine-tune and finish up a much longer blog post, I wanted to fill this dry spell with some amusing content that serves as a follow-up to an unexpectedly popular blog post from about a year ago. I noted last spring the strange, recent proliferation of bumper stickers (magnets in actuality) alerting passers-by of
Multidirectional sign at a mall restaurant: a guide to the restroom, but why not steer people back to the mall itself?
I rarely feature a one-photo blog article, but this post is an example where I have no real choice. I took a single photo on a lark, not realizing at the time that it would generate a significant analysis that justifies other photos to help flesh out the argument. Thankfully, as is often the case,
By far the most common keyword I’ve used in this blog is “signage”. At the time of this post, I have written 205 articles that feature the topic. This should come as no surprise. After all, it’s a blog on the built environment, and signs are ubiquitous anywhere humans have a presence; additionally the fundamental
We have now reached, almost to the day, the point when the majority of US states, taking the lead from a national disaster declaration, began issuing safety precautions in an attempt to prevent the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), better known as COVID-19, the number attributing the year in which epidemiologists
When catastrophe wipes out a family of small businesses, the second generation must rise from the ashes.
Every industry has its own mini-lexicon. Why shouldn’t it? These neologisms might originate from journalism, where they achieve enough prevalence to become mainstream: e.g., the press’s notably unecological use of the word “ecosystem”, the cringe-inducing phrase that begins “help me unpack…”, or the use of “ask” as a noun. The US Department of Defense has
The primary photo in this article features a landmark that is widely known to people in the greater Washington DC area, particularly those on the Virginia side of the river. But it isn’t significant or important enough to have any clout nationally or even outside the region. It’s a visual landmark in the sense that
The religious landscape in America is changing. This isn’t a revelation (pun intended), nor is it particularly novel; it’s always been changing. The media and think tank buzz about the nation’s growing secularization is so abundant these days that it’s impossible to ignore. It takes no great deal of detective work to find evidence that
With holiday and work commitments colliding every day, my posts this past month have been unusually slight—shorter and less than pithy. This tendency may have to continue until the year’s end, since it isn’t going to let up all that much. But I still hope to home in on the obscure, the typically overlooked, or—something
Coming from a family that worked in the advertising industry, I cannot help myself by focusing occasionally on the use of lettering, symbols, or other carefully positioned typographic strategies to help galvanize an advertising logo into a widely successful brand. More importantly, I can’t help but focus on the non-successes—those examples where, even if the
Many years ago, on this blog, I postulated that, in vibrant downtown areas with lots of small, family-run businesses, an aging, outdated exterior sign might actually be a selling point. Even if the paint is a little chipped or the letters a bit rusty—a tiny bit (not too much!)—a visibly old sign is a tacit