Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sign Language

There is something romantic, and totally Budapest, about the old store signs around the city, be they hand painted, neon, or graphic. They are artifacts of by-gone times, and are disappearing all too rapidly in this climate that only seems to value the new. Like the architecture, the old signs in Budapest have an elegance that ages well. They just look nicer when a bit faded.

There is a certain word lettering, that I have not yet been able to identify, that has a Bauhaus feel: blocky and modern, yet timeless, that is typical of the style of sign that brands the store as uniquely Hungarian. This flower-store sign is a perfect example:

I have been documenting as many old style signs as I can while they are relatively plentiful. Following are some of my favorites, mostly from central Budapest.

A timepiece seller:

A wine cellar:

A furrier:

A bookstore:

A women's hair-dresser:

Ham-radio hobby shop:

A beer hall:

A movie theater:

And, finally, the defunct baggage check at Keleti, the eastern train station of Budapest:

Matt Henderson Ellis is a freelance manuscript editor and author coach working with writers who publish in print and digitally.

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