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The Green Leaves, Violet Dry Cleaner

The Green Leaves, Violet Dry Cleaner, 106-108 Hammersmith Road, Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, London W6, 2005 Amusing colourful duo, still there but now with modernised facades which lack the charm of this old-school “basic typography, droopy awnings” approach.

The Green Leaves, Violet Dry Cleaner

4 replies »

    • Ah, but we have different remits: yours (presumably) a positive mission to revivify the high street; mine a reflective brief to muse upon – to quote a Momus song title – the essential “Sadness of Things”. To me these shopfronts are like art, say a Michael Landy (an artist whose main theme, however humorously or poetically expressed, is redundancy). I gain great visual pleasure from these shops’ twinning of utterly random concrete poetry-style type, their dirty drooping awnings, their wordplay of naming, and the fact that “Violet” is actually red. To me they speak of an optimistic start, followed by gritty day-to-day utilitarianism and stoical decay, redeemed by a flash of wit. A lot like life, in other words. I realise this over-justification of a couple of rubbish shopfronts means there is probably something wrong with me, but that’s why the blogosphere exists! I only wish I’d taken a better picture, this was with my worst snapshot camera ever (Pentax Optio X, no detail at all).

  1. Oh no, I love old shop fronts, I’m just not a fan of the generic. I love the quirky, different, unusual and think it should be enhanced. Taste is something that is used when it’s right to do so. I love your blog, although possibly for different reasons. The ones with old signwriting, glass signs, Ghost signs or signs made with skill that are now fading fill me with nostalga, but also hope that one day good design and great craft will return to the high street. One of my pet hates are the things that make all our high streets the same. Each one should be different and have it’s own look and feel. But all too often councils insist on generic brought wide bin, lampost and street furniture designs along with generic shop front guidelines that end up making all high streets look the same. It’s boring and bad design and bad business. For me your blog is at it’s best when it highlights the different and bespoke. I look forward to it every day.

    • Kind words! And I agree with what you say, especially about genuine craft (I don’t hold out much hope of that returning) and horrible street furniture, which generally appals me. I realise I am just being nostalgic for “old-fashioned” badly-spaced generic type. But graphic designers always like crap vernacular type – a somewhat minority taste, I concur. Though it seems to me there’s never been that much excitement in UK shopfront design, it’s all rather downbeat compared to most countries I’ve visited. The really striking old designs I come across are usually on Italian or Jewish emporia.

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