Archive for the '2. MISC: What we think or agree with' Category


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2011 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,300 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Trumpet Blowing

Image from Creative Commons on Wikipedia.

The What If Sydenham project has gained a fair amount of exposure around the world since we started it a few years ago. Aside from the Sydenham Forum where we have posted all of the What If Projects, it’s appeared all over the internet.

Here are a few links.
Aside from a mention on the Guardians website,
the project has also appeared here: Continue reading ‘Trumpet Blowing’

Some thoughts on SIGNWRITING

This is a beautifully shot documentary by Danny Cooke about signwriting artist David A Smith from Torquay. Please watch it.

David A Smith – Sign Artist from Danny Cooke on Vimeo.

There are some interesting points to take note of here. Once our high streets were highly decorated. Signage companies were staffed by highly skilled craftsmen, often with their own styles and techniques who learnt their trade over long apprenticeships. There was pride in the workmanship by the signwriters. There was pride in appearance by the shops. Even ‘downmarket’ business premises alluded to being more aspirational from bakers to candlestick makers. Everything was done with care. Our high streets looked beautiful and cohesive. The shops looked as if they belonged to the buildings they inhabited. But most shops looked the similar. There were no big brands, you used your local shop which was often named after it’s owner. Like J Sainbury’s. Boots the Chemists. Marks & Spencer.

These days signwriters are rarely used, it is a dying art. Many of our high streets are cluttered by poorly designed, poorly made, cheap, gaudy signs made by companies with little if any design or craft training. Signs are often made to shout louder, to stand out rather than communicate your values. Signage companies will offer cheap plastic signs, shops wont invest in proper design or will rip out original shop fronts at great expense, but spend little on the actual sign (or often, wont invest in a sign at all).

Many of our high streets and local shops are now struggling. Our high streets are often uninviting places to be with depressing security shutters that make our urban environments look like no go places at night. This can lead to anti-social behavior and crime.

Isn’t it about time our high streets learnt from the past and became more inviting, beautiful, involving, exciting places to be?

Amazing images of Sydenham Road

Sorry, just a link for now, may expand later:


And they are good!


In the latest copy of Lewisham Life W.I.S. noticed an interesting article about shops having a makeover in New Cross as part of the ‘New Deal For Communities (NDC) initiative.

22 shops around New Cross were restored in total including cleaning brickwork, structural work, restoring original features and replacing shop fronts and signs.

Seems like it pays off as the owner of the new Hardware Centre at 117 New Cross Road said “the appearance of the building is much improved and trade as picked up by 35-40%”.

Further proof that improving the way your business looks is a sound investment in your business?

What if…


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