The idea came to me as I started a new commute into work this past summer, when I found myself driving through the North East--a new place for me, but an old place for Edmonton. With fresh eyes, I was drawn to all of the signage that is still in use on the old buildings. I believe there's something beautiful and honest about signage conveying the same message it was intended to after 50+ years. Sure, the type can be seen as 'vintage', 'hipster' and 'trendy' now, but I think it's a wonderful thing to celebrate type that has been existing in it's environment for so long.
One place in particular that grabbed my attention was the Bellevue Community Centre, off 73rd st and 112ave by Borden Park. The Centre, built in the late 1950's/early 60's, has obviously never been renovated and still boasts it's original signage.
Red is the reason the sign stands out so much in it's environment, otherwise it might be easy to miss, being shoved up at the top of the window and under the roof. All four of the signs have different typefaces; three of the signs are hand painted, while the other ones are made from acrylic. The 'Bellevue' sign definitely gives off the 'diner-style' vibe of the era. Big, beautiful and blocky letters!
As fast as the city is growing, signs are getting mass produced using default fonts-so keep your eye out for those hidden gems in your neighbourhood before they get replaced! It is important to focus on what we have rather than looking to other cities for (typographic) inspiration.
Kit is a freelance graphic designer and creative entrepreneur currently working in the food industry.