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Shopfront Elegy book – out now

A themed compendium of vintage UK shop facades
By Vici MacDonald / Foreword by Alan Dein

• £17.45 from Amazon UK • $22.95 from Amazon USA 
• 96pp / Full colour / 216 mm (8.5 in) square / Reverse Press, ISBN 978-1-910991-00-8

Out right now – an actual book of Shopfront Elegy! They haven’t done a ‘look inside’, so at the end of the post there’s a slideshow of spreads (or click here). Read on below for full details…


For over 20 years, Vici MacDonald has been photographing interesting old shopfronts and commercial facades from around the UK – the proud, the fading, the forgotten, the plain bonkers. In 2012, she launched the blog Shopfront Elegy, featuring one of these images a day. That same year, a selection was paired with poems by Tamar Yoseloff in the chapbook Formerly (Hercules Editions), which was shortlisted for a Ted Hughes Award. Now comes the first book devoted entirely to the Shopfront Elegy images, in a beautifully designed overview of the entire collection.

  • 96 colour pages with over 65 facades and 100 photos, spanning 1981-2016
  • Foreword by award-winning BBC broadcaster (and shopfront fan) Alan Dein
  • Introduction by the author, discussing the origins and background of the project
  • Arranged on themes such as Grimness, Grandeur, Technology and Tradition
  • Ranges from Glasgow to Falmouth, with sections on Birmingham, Liverpool and Hull
  • Includes Place Notes section with facts and history about each featured facade
  • Plus full references, bibliography, addresses and GPS co-ordinates

“Growing up, we all must learn that the people we love will not last forever. It’s the same for shops, but for some reason we expect them to persist for evermore – and then they disappear in a blink of an eye. Thankfully some are now destined to live on, as Vici MacDonald continues to amass a photographic treasure trove of the discarded – and the survivors – for her Shopfront Elegy.”
Alan Dein, oral historian and broadcaster

Themes in this book and forthcoming volumes include:
Bargain Hunting • Birmingham • Curtains & Windows • Dining Out • Faith • Family & Friends • Final Closure • Graffiti • Grandeur • Grimness • Handicraft • Hull • Liverpool • Mistakes • Nice Names • Palimpsests • Profil Font • Risqué Business • Technology • Tiles & Mosaics • Tradition • Uncovered

Below: a selection of spreads from the book. Click to see a full-size slide show.

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