Archive for the ‘Contrasts’ Category

Judge Me

December 6, 2010

Judge Me

Here I like the contrast between the swirling, drippy lines and the small, severe capitals of “JUDGE ME.” I’m also curious: Why are those words on a doorway?

Perhaps a Tim Burton-style misfit lives here, someone helplessly different and puzzled by conformity. This sign could be a statement of fury and resistance, a middle finger raised to an endlessly judging world.


Please ensure that…

September 16, 2010

Please ensure that

This sign has a split personality: one part polite and one part hostile. I love the contrast between the delicate script and the big red caps.

Wouldn’t it be fun to leave the door ajar, just to see what would happen? What do you think the creator of this sign is like in person?

Toronto’s Party Place

February 22, 2010

Toronto's Party Place

This is how letters behave when they’ve had a few drinks: they get a bit rowdy and turn various colours.

You’ll find this sign on the Filmore Hotel. I like the contrast between the rambunctious type and the sober looking windows.

For some reason, I have a need to connect up the letters of the same colour to see what results, but it’s nonsense: TORYP, ONLA, TO’SCE. Then again, parties are full of jumbled conversations, half-heard syllables, so this is perfectly appropriate.

Canadian Souvenirs

January 21, 2010

Canadian Souvenirs

Honest Ed’s is a typographic wonderland. I could probably find hundreds of details to single out, but for now I’ll focus on just one, this snappy sign on the northwest corner.

I like the contrast between the high-velocity brushwork of “Canadian” and the more deliberate craftsmanship of “Souvenirs.” The s’s on either end look like they are doing their best to be serious, but there’s a barely suppressed smile in their wild curves.

And why not? Souvenir shopping should be fun, particularly at Honest Ed’s.


December 14, 2009

Osker Gusti

One of the things I enjoy about urban space is the way words collide. Sometimes they engage in smart conversation, sometimes they overlap in strange harmonies, sometimes they shout simultaneously and dissolve into the general noise.

Here it looks like Osker is reacting to the graphic energy of Gusti. One’s rough, one’s polished; one tilts forward and the other leans back. It may just be an artful coincidence, but it’s collisions like this one that make walking through the city so invigorating.

Super Smoke

December 9, 2009

Super Smoke

Here’s a game you can play when you’re walking around the city. When a sign catches your eye, try to imagine it as a person’s voice. What would it sound like? Would it be a woman’s voice or a man’s? Would its tone be commanding? Seductive? Whimsical?

I hear the sign in this photo as a man’s voice: raspy, cigarette-damaged, hesitant. His neurons aren’t firing too quickly and he sometimes loses track of what he’s saying. “Super…” (Where was I again? Oh yeah!) “…Smoke.”

Do you hear someone different in this sign? Are there signs you’ve noticed that have a memorable voice?