Whenever I travel to a new place, as I did this past weekend, I’m always struck by how the community communicates its personality, values, and history. These virtues present themselves through their highway system, buildings, and housing. Through food, clothing and music.

I, personally, delight in the signs of a place. From a sign you can tell the age of a business and how well it’s doing; and the creativity of the local community and how it’s valued by businesses. You can tell how people think and communicate, and what audience they’re aiming to attract. You can also see when a community is economically depressed.

In my travels I’ve come across similar outward reflections of a business, community or culture. I could point to the doors and yards of the Netherlands and Italy to talk about community pride; to the facades and roofs of Vienna and Lisbon to discuss historical impact of the cultural mindset. Or the facades and constructs of Frankfurt and New Orleans to talk about story telling and rebuilding your paradise.

Signs are at once the same and different. They officially mark a business, but they also tell a story of the community.

Here are some great examples I’ve captured over the years. It’s interesting what’s been kept, expanded upon, re-imagined and eliminated.
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