Branded Local

20 Sep 2008

bagel with that
marco... polo...

This past summer in my uptown New Orleans neighborhood I noticed some funky stuff going on in the shop windows. In a city in which local and neighborhood identity means everything to folks, certain shop owners had taken the step to support a local artist in the most surprising way. Instead of the standard issue open/closed signs that most places use, a number of shops in the area had hand-painted signs — all of them painted and dated by the same guy: Simon.

dated 2008. uh-oh.
simple, direct

I never got the story on Simon. Later I saw that he owns an antique shop and calls himself a “Louisiana habitat endangered artist.” Likewise, it is the wit and personality of his signs that calls out. Many of his “closed” signs, for example, omit the final letter “d” thus presenting the visitor with a pun, “store close.” His closed sign for the women’s shoe store Bella is cut in the shape of a foot, and a separate sign of his in the window announces, “girls love shoes.”

messaging is key

The oval-shaped brand at the bottom of his signs make Simon the Ford of hand-painted open/closed signs in Uptown New Orleans. But even he has competitors. Still, as a shopper, it was with a small smile that I crossed the threshold into shops signed by him. If there is as unique a visual culture to another commercial strip in America, I haven’t seen it. But I’ll be looking.


  1. 22 Sep 2008 Michael

    I LOVE those signs!

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