On the ground in Enfield, north London. I particularly like the tulips. Pearson’s is still trading, so it’s not a ghost sign.


Another of the great Shopfront Elegy’s historic shots (via The Express Cleaning & Repairing Co.), this one from the Caledonian Road, N1. And the embodiment of the Bonzo Dog Band’s express cleaning joke in Shirt.

Fili fabulous en France

As a “typographic love letter to Paris” Louise Fili’s new
book Graphique de la Rue – The Signs of
could not be more beautifully composed. The warm reception accorded
her previous volume on Italian signage prompted Fili to revisit Paris and
capture as much as she could of the remaining signs and letterforms observed
during her previous 40 years of travel to the city.

“With each successive visit,” she says, “I would
continue to be struck by the uniqueness of the signs; in no other city had I seen
such distinctive typography on the likes of public school buildings, police
stations, funeral parlours, and patisseries.” 

The results are, once again, stunning. Page after page, spread
after spread of typographic delights capture shop signs, name boards, neon and mosaics.
Stone carving, tiles, metalwork and more make up this hymn to Parisian style,
some of it familiar, much still surprising and unexpected. Hector Guimard’s
Paris Metro entrances feature of course, alongside many other art nouveau, deco
and futurist delights – all properly indexed.

Where next? There are surely more European destinations deserving
the Fili treatment…

Graphique de la Rue,
The Signs of Paris
by Louise Fili, is published this month by Princeton Architectural
Press, £25.