Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Southern Tier "Graphic Design"

Sometimes, a simple sign can really convey so much more than its mere text indicates. For example, a well-designed logo with a cool image can tell you a lot about a company or a business- that it is creative, or traditional, serious, or fun-loving.

This general rule certainly holds true in Binghamton, but no one is going to be hiring any of the "graphic designers" who make the business signs around here. We are continually amazed by the actual functioning businesses that seem to get by with - not only a hand-made sign- but a poorly hand-made sign, at that. (John and I call these "Southern Tier Specials," in reference to the Southern Tier region in which we live.)

Today I had lunch at the sole ethnic food place downtown. I think people just call it "the Indian place" because that is sufficient to distinguish it from all the other dining establishments, but really, shouldn't a proper restaurant - where you are going to pay money and put the food in your body - shouldn't it have a proper sign? Understand, my dear readers, this "CURRYs of INDIA" homemade thing is the ONLY signage on the entire restaurant.

I don't know how long the restaurant has been there- maybe not that long since the sign isn't faded out like the other photo- but don't you think they could invest a little bit of money in something as important as a SIGN for their business?

Which brings me to the other sign pictured above. Now, if you wanted to sell a piece of real estate, do you think you might want to do a little more than take your sloppy hand-writing, slap together a few pieces of notebook paper, and tape them in the window for God knows how long, as they faded in the sun? I'm tempted to call the phone number, just to tell them how crappy their sign looks.

You should see the building it's taped onto - a real eyesore, right in the middle of downtown. Really sends a great message to future investors by screaming "Please buy this piece of shit dilapidated building that the owner cares so little about, he hasn't even made the effort to use his best hand-writing in the homemade sign from circa 1984." It's an old printing business that I can pretty well guess made a fine living up through the 1970s, spewing pollutants into the ground on which it stands. I guess if you buy the building, they throw in the toxic liability for free!

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