The leaves are almost gone

I’d say they don’t make signs like they used to, but I’m waiting, guardedly, for LEDs to tacky up the landscape in a retro-Vegas-kinda way.

Categorized as Design

Elder Beerman logo(rot)

On the main drag in Hamilton, OH

I forgot all about Elder Beerman for the most part. The department store from my youth closed their doors in the Cincinnati area a good while ago and that was just par for the course—these places were always changing names.

But I was wrong. Elder Beerman is still alive in Dayton (and other areas around the midwest).

Bought in 2003 by Bon-Ton, they haven’t yet succumbed to changing the lovely script signage on the outside of the box stores to the new crappy family look.


Categorized as Design

pink soup cans

the chicken noodle is coming in handy for the cold

Not to compare red iPod apples to tomatoes, but these pink cans for Breast Cancer Awareness Month from Campbell’s Soup are quite lovely.

Categorized as Design

Captain D’s

Always nice to see a logo get better

I’m starting to have faith that some logos and identities can indeed improve.

I’ve not stepped foot in a Captain D’s, but this blend of whimsy, color, type, and illustration would entice me to give em a shot.

Link: Corporate speak about the new identity.

Categorized as Design


Not helping the headaches

Back in October of 2003, I lamented the changing palette of road signs. Seems this idea caught on to the makers of those roadside advertisements that used to be made with pop in letters (aka readerboards).

These new ones employ day-glo magnetic letters and graphics clip art, protected from vandals by a black mesh screen.

I’d say they were an eyesore, but I suppose they do their job.

They made me look.

Along a 10 mile stretch though, I lost count of how many there were.

PhotosDay-glo roadsigns: view the drive-by carnage

(filed cautiously under design)

Categorized as Design


knobs and buttons

I went car shopping with friends today and the usual desire to take bits from different vehicles was present. This interior with that exterior sorta stuff.

My bud saw a version of his old car on the lot and. for giggles, he took it out for a spin.

The cough of the engine and lethargic get-go took it out of contention, but oh how nice the interior was… Real knobs with tactile feedback to work all the controls.

I’ll lament this more as touchscreens start to take over.

Categorized as Design

more logorot

I can’t say I loved where it was…

I just noticed the new Baskin Robbins identity. Digging up facts I found the culprit (I think).

The nod to Emigre’s Variex isn’t something I’d have considered, but squeezing the 31 in there is… admirable.

I can’t articulate my distress enough, but more googling provided this fine quote from a thread on Speak Up, “Because, dammit, ice cream should be fun.”

Categorized as Design


The wheels on the bus go round and round…

I’m super looking forward to the (Cincinnati) Auto Show next week.

Though not necessarily in the market for a new ride, I love fiddling with knobs and finding out which vehicles fit tall people.

I’m sad I didn’t make it out to the 2001 show to see the VW minibus concept I dream of owning. In searching for images, I came across another Westfalia concept that looks quite nifty (let the animation unfold).

More sad, current Volkswagens seem to be losing their “edge” and Buick is stealing their finesse (see icon). I doubt the Lucerne has an integrated umbrella holder though…

Categorized as Design

dog eared

Northgate Mall

While sitting outside a JCPenney this afternoon, I was regarding the lovely Helvetica and thinking about the Christmas catalogs I would dog ear when I was a kid. Things I never saw on the shelves when the family would make a special trip to the department and discount stores…

Places in these parts called Pogues, McAlpins, Van Leunens, Gold Circle, Shillitos, (and subsequently Shillito-Rikes then Lazarus)… How I’ve scoured Google for glimpses of these storefronts only to realize there was a time before all this ‘lectronic tomfoolery.

A time when I couldn’t find out (easily) that JCPenney began in 1902 by James Cash Penney as a dry goods and clothing store in Kemmerer, Wyoming under the banner “The Golden Rule.”

My mind wanders…

I realize I’m quick to point out what I consider bad evolutions of identities: fast food restaurants, UPS, and other corporations. But there have been some good ones.

Kmart, for example.

Their move in 1990 to the red K with angled script “mart” was a step in a right direction, and the subsequent migration to a san serif type below the K hit the mark.

There have been some missteps. The Big K branding extension was a bust. Right up there with the tackiness that is Sam’s Club. Thanks to the wikipedia I found there was also a lime green logo used at five prototype stores. As much as I enjoy Martha Stewart green, I’m not sold on the variation.

So there’s that.

It’s all much less interesting than wishing over the Christmas catalog. Peculiar still, my parents knew exactly what to get me even though I never dog eared it:

Yep, this logo hasn’t changed much. Just like I remember it from this set..