Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Signs, signs, everywhere are signs!

If you've been reading our blog or visited our Flickr gallery or Etsy shop lately, you might have noticed that we've been bitten by the sign bug.

The happy fact is, we can blame it on Flickr and all the neat people we've met there that photograph and post vintage signs. We've joined photo sharing groups for fans of vintage signs, neon signs, night photos of signs and it's really fun to view all the signage from every state across the USA!
The art of making signs has a long history including the craft of hand-lettered signs, which has a national group--The Letterheads--dedicated to sharing and preserving the history of their art. As a design student, I recently completed a course that covered the history of graphic design from the beginning (prehistoric cave paintings) through the 20th century. Famous sign makers include European poster designers and the art they developed for advertising products, cultural and sporting events, concerts, and political propaganda in the 19th century.

As a photographer, I learn from the poster designers and sign makers of the past and present. I've always loved letters (and numbers) used in or as part of a design. Signs are a classic expression in the art of typography (designing with letters). A vintage sign can be a window on the past.
Driving through the city after dark, hunting for great neon is our new summertime activity. Finding these signs--vintage or not so much--and capturing them in pixels is a just another neat subject for us to add to our photography adventures!

To view more sign images and to purchase please visit my Etsy shop.

copyright pfeiffer photos 2008 - all rights reserved.


greavesdesign said...

I really appreciate what you've documented here! I also love typography. (I was a graphic designer and now am into my textile art...)

Made a Treasury a few days ago titled the Loveliness of Letters...

Anonymous said...

I love this post... the Desdemona Club sign is my fave I think! On my way to check out your Etsy shop!

Pfeiffer Photos said...

exquisiteimage: Thanks so much! The Desdemona Club isn't listed in our shop but if you'd like a print just let me know via convo. We have LOTS more signs posted in our flickr gallery, too:


Take care,

Pfeiffer Photos said...

greavesdesign: Thank you..I got inspired today. I envy those with talent for textile design as I don't share that gift..will snoop in your shop soon!

Take care,

Amanda Conley said...

Hey! Thanks for finding me! This is a really great blog. I love your photos, especially these signs! Very cool. If you want to trade links, I can add you to my etsy sellers who blog link list. I'd love to keep tabs on all your cool photography!
p.s. I hearted your shop. It's really nice!

ABreathOfFrenchAir said...

Neat signs! I think my favorite is the ice cream one...maybe it's because I'm hungry! :)

Mary Richmond said...

these are great--i love signs! the humor, the design, the straightforwardness or the downright ridiculous...nice photos!

heather knitz said...

Love it!
This brought back some memories of "vintage" signs for me:)))

There was an old run down hotel in Cincinnati, called the El Rancho Rankin--a staple, everyone here knew it and when they had to finally demolish the hotel/motel, the sign sold at auction for a hundred thousand dollars or something like that!!!

Thanks for sharing!

FallenSheep said...

Wonderful photos.
They are so pretty.

Pfeiffer Photos said...

amanda: Thanks, and we'd be happy to be added to your list. Please do visit again..we'll be updating as often as we can shoot more pics!

breathof: Thanks! I love that ice cream sign--Chris got lucky to find that in Astoria!

mary: Thanks..it's astounding how many people really enjoy old signs; now we're hooked, too! :)

heather: Thanks, and also for the story of your Del Rancho and it's infamous sign sale, lol!

Hope to see you all again soon!

Vanessa said...

Love all of the sign pics...very creative!

brightonEarly said...

This post is great! All these signs are great!! I've never really looked at signs before...

Pfeiffer Photos said...

vanessa: thanks...I think the signs would make a great set of note cards for the shop...stay tuned!

brighton: thanks! a bit of hisotry, a bit of signage...it's all good. Keep your eyes peeled, I bet you'll be seeing all kinds of great signs in your town now. Feel free to share them with us if you're camera ready and able! :0)


mdk jewelry designs said...

ummmm...chicken and dumplings. my absolutle favorite comfort food.

where in the world is that eating establishment?

Pfeiffer Photos said...

mdk: thanks! Tad's is located near Corbett, Oregon...you can find it on a map if you click the same photo in our Flickr gallery (see link in left margin of the blog)!

Pam Hawk said...

Oh, love love the signs. I don't know why, but great neon is so hard to find down here in Salem. (Unless it's a beer sign in a window.)

These are great. I'm definitely bookmarking you to see more!

Pfeiffer Photos said...

pam hawk: Thanks for the compliment and the bookmark; come by anytime! That's a funny comment about Salem and the beer sign in window; sometime we'll head down and find some neon in your area, too! ;-)

Cathe Holden said...

Fantastic Post!!!

I am in love with old-school signage! I collect vintage and rare sign-painter's books. I am a graphic designer who truly respects the signmaker/painter as the ORIGINAL designers.

So fun!

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