A meeting between different decades


Recently restored and given a fresh red paint this sign is luckily kept in place by its new owner. An interesting combination of a stylish art deco sign and a light box of later date. A good thing the owner of the pizza shop kept the sign of what perhaps looks as if it once was a café or “konditori” – Gerds konditori. The building was put up in 1947 and the signage is probably from that time. An older picture shows a metal “roof” curving to protect the freestanding letters and an original metal box. Spånga, a part of Stockholm.

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A cinema sign of some importance



Neon sign greeting visitors to the classic cinema Grand on Sveavägen. This theater is one of the oldest in Stockholm, opened in 1933. It’s also known as the place Olof Palme and his wife went the night of the assassination of the Swedish Prime Minister in 1986. The neon cursive have some flair of the 30s but the smaller “Stockholm” is a later addition, a sad use of Arial, a typeface with no connection what so ever to this historic place. Even so, they camp fairly well together. City.

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Bodoni in Ekoparken


This Bodoni (Oldstyle) decorates the monument at the entrance right next to Stallmästargården at the south end of Brunnsviken. The Ekoparken – a city wildlife reserve – was was created in 1992. Hagaparken

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Going to the chapell


Rode my bike through the Norra Kyrkogården (The Northern Cemetery) yesterday and saw a lot of interesting signs and inscriptions. A large part is recently (relatively) been given a new sign system consisting of the beautiful Nordling BQ by typo maestro Örjan Nordling of Familjen Pangea design firm. Solna.

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Sweet tattoo sign


A tattoo shop on Kungsholmen got their letters in good shape. The handling of the em/en dash between the opening hours is a minor offense when the choice of type, the spacing, and layout are done like this. The contemporary retro feeling is achieved with condensed gothic, a drop shadow and a restrained Victorian framing.

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Hair by Benton


This is a striking sign, probably from the 1960s, combining the letterforms we saw in yesterdays image and a plastic construction that was in use in the 60s. M. F. Benton’s typeface Agency Gothic was drawn for A.T.F. in 1932. It encapsulates not only the bold technical look of the machine age of the day but also, later, the harsh environment of a bomb shelter as well as a gas station or a radio-tv-store. Why a hairdresser would find it fitting is anyone’s guess. Maybe it just looked good here. Today, these technical geometrical shapes are back in favor, available in David Berlows 1990 rendition. A true and durable classic! Kungsholmen.

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Warning sign reminiscence


A warning sign prohibiting just about everything and it does it effectively in a very authoritative way. The condensed letterforms are of a cold-war type popular in the 50s but the angular masculine feeling is could almost be of a WWII sort. For an old veteran pushing sixty years this gatekeeper is in a good shape. Kungsholmen

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Artist’s 3D letters on glass


Metal-like sticker letters probably at least 50 years old. The painting is on the inside of the glass window of this door while the letters are on the outside. They are of a Futura -like kind I’ve previously found on a building from the 60s, also on Kungsholmen, but the letter design is rather 30s “Funkis”. My guess is that they where available through the 40s, 50s and 60s. But how they got them to stick for more than 50 years to the glass is beyond me. Norr Mälarstrand.

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60s Church typography


S:t Ansgars Church in Alvik, west of Kungsholmen, opened it’s doors in 1963. Adorned with a classic Optima typeface nicely placed flushed left. Sadly the spacing is too tight making the letter spaces uneven and the word spaces too large. Still it’s a sober, dignified almost solemn solution. Optima were long favored among care-takers and insurance companies in Sweden. Although it’s an appropriate choice of letters here some marks on the wall suggests that it may not be original ones.

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The Royal Motorboat Club is situated next to Djurgårdsbron. On a hot summer day the café is a great stop for an ice-cream. The letters, wich seem to be a combination of Avant Garde, Gill Sans and Futura, have a nice feeling of 1930s, capturing a fresh version of the engineering aspect of boating. A scent from a time when oil, gas and petroleum products only meant freedom, speed and a holiday get-away. You can still catch one or two of the famous and protected Pettersson-boats, shiny and polished wooden masterpieces of Swedish boat-building. / Djurgården

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