lettres et mots – things of beauty

January 25, 2012

The blue street signs stand out clearly, which of course, is their job but they have stood the test of time in their design. Street furniture at its best! Good to see that other forms of signage are being maintained as part of the building fabric too. The use of serif and sans serif  in the lettering is meaningful. The signwriter employed by M. Blanchon, the sabot maker, cleverly used a serif with added knobs for the name and so identifying the stoutness and longevity of the product to be found within.

Just readable lettering on the Auberge au Lion d’Or . . . . cul de sac sign not so good!

In Céret, the signage in Place des Neufs Jets is a mix of fonts with sans-serif  – only the numeral is serif (Walbaum from Berthold) – and also upper and lower case  . . .

. . . upper and lower case mix here at the fruit and veg shop quite delightfully positioned and hand painted with elegant drop shadow.

Faded French blue quite lovely with the mottled texture and tones of the trunks of the plane trees . . .

and the use of a gentle Art Nouveau style font on the arch of a covered walkway. Quite welcoming and definitely unthreatening.

This sign is far more to the point – means business –  whatever is for sale in here.

And a frontage still retaining its original character but now an upmarket B+B . . .

. . . an another Brousses business, Studio René and one of his photos

. . and something more recent – a few affiches displayed in Saint Antonin at New Year . . .

the sharp, brittle and surreal nature of one side of Les Mis made me smile. And just letters through this aperture please. No junk mail should enter here!

‘Twas midnight in theschoolroom
And every desk was shut
When suddenly from the alphabet
Was heard a loud “Tut-Tut!”

Said A to B, “I don’t like C;
His manners are a lack.
For all I ever see of C
Is a semi-circular back!”

“I disagree,” said D to B,
“I’ve never found C so.
From where I stand he seems to be
An uncompleted O.”

C was vexed, “I’m much perplexed,
You criticise my shape.
I’m made like that, to help spell Cat
And Cow and Cool and Cape.”

“He’s right” said E; said F, “Whoopee!”
Said G, “‘Ip, ‘Ip, ‘ooray!”
“You’re dropping me,” roared H to G.
“Don’t do it please I pray.”

“Out of my way,” LL said to K.
“I’ll make poor I look ILL.”
To stop this stunt J stood in front,
And presto! ILL was JILL.

“U know,” said V, “that W
Is twice the age of me.
For as a Roman V is five
I’m half as young as he.”

X and Y yawned sleepily,
“Look at the time!” they said.
“Let’s all get off to beddy byes.”
They did,then “Z-z-z.”  Spike Milligan The ABC

One Response to “lettres et mots – things of beauty”

  1. Cloudier Says:

    I am drawn to signs and lettering too, there’s an appealing magic behind the font and the person who painted/created them – what was happening on that day in that place? And in that person’s life? Excellent poème !


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