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Architectural lettering – a lesson from history

25/01/2012

Now I am not going to say these two local examples (Murwillumbah, NSW, Australia) are wonderful evidence of type, yet I am always fascinated when I come across pieces like this to consider the architect’s (or builder’s) intentions.

In the case of the Budd sign, probably simple advertising, although it is not easy to see and I have passed by that shop for years now without noting it. In fact, it was only when I was on the balcony of the recently renovated adjacent cinema a few weeks back that I spotted it.

The second example is more intriguing since it is purely decorative.

It reminds me of the illustration taken from Alan Bartram’s wonderful Lettering on Architecture (1975), shown here. I also think of Rome with its multitude of monumental signage, also pictured in Bartram’s text (pp 154-155).

Also see this blog on Ralph Beyer.

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