From Lewisham Libraries archives

We love old pictures of high streets.

The shop fronts were well designed and looked like they belonged to the building. Most shops had awnings. Typography and signage was well designed and crafted by people who worked long apprenticeships to learn their trade. Often these people lived locally and this helped to give an area a particular look, a local distinction.

These days many shop fronts are installed without much thought to the building or the locality with the view that standing out, being different and shouting as loudly as possible is a good thing.

It isn’t.

If everyone shouts you can’t hear anything.

We think we have something to learn from the past. That doesn’t mean make something look old. We mean make something look well designed. Fit for the area. Make the area look distinctive in it’s own right rather than making it look like it could be from anywhere. High streets are a supermarket under many roofs. They should feel cohesive as a whole rather than individual shops fighting one another. They need to work together.

Designed by Good People started the What If Project a few years ago. It’s helped raise the profile of shop front design and we are embarking on our second actual makeover soon. Hopefully the next chapter is about to open. Hopefully there will be exciting times ahead. Hopefully we can make a difference.

1 Response to “THE WAY WE WERE”

  1. 1 leenewham July 22, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Thanks for liking out post WUC. Nice blog by the way!

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