Archive Page 2

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’

SECURITY SHUTTERS DON’T HAVE TO BE UGLY


In the light of David Camerons announcement about making it easier for shops to install high security roller shutters, we thought we would highlight the possibilities this offers our high streets.

Rather than making our high streets look like industrial security zones like this:
Continue reading ‘SECURITY SHUTTERS DON’T HAVE TO BE UGLY’

ARE SECURITY SHUTTERS THE WAY FORWARD?


In short, no. We don’t think they are.

Like everyone we have been shocked by the riots in London. Images of both young and old ripping shops apart have been shocking. Designed by Good People have many friends who own or live above shops. We can’t imagine the fear that shop owners must have had about their lively hoods and safety.

Today the government has announced that they are allowing shops to install security shutters and bypass planning regulations.

This will have a significant effect on our local high streets making them look like high security industrial estates at night and may be counter productive to the local economy.

In Sydenham the only shop that was looted (to our knowledge) was Cost Cutter. They had a security shutter.

It appears as if, across London, security shutters did very little to save shops from damage and looting. They were often just ripped from the side rails.
Continue reading ‘ARE SECURITY SHUTTERS THE WAY FORWARD?’

THE WAY WE WERE


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.

Designedbygoodpeople.com

Some thoughts on SIGNWRITING


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

http://player.vimeo.com/video/14985356

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?

WHAT IF no 15: HOUSE OF LINENS


We popped into ‘House of Linens’ a little while ago to get a few bits and pieces (we are going eco and are now fixing old clothes and buying ‘vintage’) and met the very friendly owner. He was talking about Billings so we told them about the What if Sydenham Project.

He looked all excited and rushed us outside to look at this sign which he wants to redo. We have been really busy and the few times we have had chance to pop by we haven’t seen him in the store. So before we show them what we have come up with I thought it best to get some feedback on this.

So here goes:

What if:

OPTION 1a

More sophistcated colours, the ‘stitched’ logo is on a raised enamel panel (about £400) on a wooden background with Vinyl applied lettering in gloss to make them look as if they are hand painted. The security grill and door etc have been painted to match the sign.

We aren’t sure when the business started trading in Sydenham but it’s been here a long time and the owners wanted to communicate this, hence the ‘trading since ’92’.

OPTION 1b

Or we could add an awning and raise the sign above. The awning costs about £1300.

OPTION 2

The sign is based on a fabric swatch with the turned corner in a shocking pink to catch the eye. Again the design is retro with a twist and uses more sophisticated colours.

So which one feels the most like a small, family run, haberdashery that has been trading locally for many many years?

If you comment please say if you use House of Linens.

For more feedback visit the Sydenham Forum or VIrtual Norwood.

designedbygoodpeople.com

WHAT IF no14: FRESH & FRUITY


Fresh and Fruity are linked to Billings (What if No 13) as they are Amo’s parents. Infact without their help, and the help of Annabel and Tim from the Sydenham society Billings may never have happened.

Since then we have been incredibly busy and the What If Project has taken a back seat, despite lots of local businesses asking for their makeovers. Unfortunately we have to pay the bills as we fit these in when we can!

We have been promising this for a while, so I though I’d post it here, get some feedback before presenting onto them. It’s been a while in the making!

This is what the shop looks like now:

FRESH & FRUITY before


Continue reading ‘WHAT IF no14: FRESH & FRUITY’

BILLINGS IN THE PRESS


This was in the South London Press in July 2010.

It’s the second time we have been featured in the newspaper. Good publicity for Amo, the owner, and us.

Designed by Good People
www.designedbygoodpeople.com

WHAT IF no13: BILLINGS


BILLINGS is a new fishmonger and butchers arriving in the high street soon in the old shoe repair shop and keycutters . Hmmm, I never did understand why shoes and keys went together. Anyway…

This is what the shop looks like now.

But what if:


Continue reading ‘WHAT IF no13: BILLINGS’

WHAT IF no12: THE CINEMA IN CRYSTAL PALACE…


This is what the cinema currently looks (we took a few liberties by photoshopping out the cars and people walking by). It’s a very busy road.

BEFORE:

BUT WHAT IF…


Continue reading ‘WHAT IF no12: THE CINEMA IN CRYSTAL PALACE…’

“WHAT IF” MENTIONED IN THE GUARDIAN


Many thanks to The Guardian for the mention in  the ‘Metropolitan Lines’ Section.

LINK to our 15 seconds of fame!

Amazing images of Sydenham Road


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

http://preview.alturl.com/bb6o

LEWISHAM DO HAVE GUIDELINES FOR SHOP FRONTS


http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/Environment/Planning/PlanningPolicy/LocalDevelopmentFramework/ShopFrontDesignGuide.htm

And they are good!
Continue reading ‘LEWISHAM DO HAVE GUIDELINES FOR SHOP FRONTS’

WHAT NOT TO CALL YOUR BUSINESS!


This is a bit of Friday Fun.

I got this on an email from an architect friend.

A great example of what NOT to do to your shop fronts.

ATT00013

ATT00002
Continue reading ‘WHAT NOT TO CALL YOUR BUSINESS!’

GREENING THE NABOURHOOD CENTRE


http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y274/leenewham/avignon.jpg

Just thought I’d throw this out there for comment. If the Nabourhood centre was covered in the green wall system it would cost between £450 to £600 per m2 (I’ve contacted some companies). I roughly estimate that the nabourhood centre is between 40-50m2 that needs covering. So it will cost between £18,000 to £30,000 to use the green wall system on the nabourhood centre. It reduces heat loss and helps keep buildings cook in the summer. It reduces noise. It’s VERY low maintenance. It stops graffiti. It doesn’t need painting. It encourages butterflies etc. It doesn’t damage the building. I know I’m going got get stick from some quarters which I’m fine with because of the Mosaic, which I disagree with (but I think Valerie has done an admirable job in bringing it to the stages of reality). I simply think it’s worth investigating an alternative. If we think it’s worth pursuing this I will. What do you think? Should I pursue it further?

WHAT IF no9: MUSTI’S PART DEUX


This is a sketch (the shapes and pig need refining but you get the idea) for Mustis new sign now that he has his new shop front. We we able to go inside the shop before it was renovated and it has the original ceiling roses from the original light fittings above the false ceiling and the original wooden floor that started in  the middle of the front window where the original door would have been. unfortunately the floor is now concreted over. It would have been great to have revealed the original features in the refit but hopefully they are untouched and safely covered by a new false ceiling.

We have looked at Musti’s before and it generated some interest (it’s how we got to meet the man himself, and what a nice guy he turned out to be).

So here is the latest…complete with pig.

BEFORE

Musti's, as it is today.

Musti's, as it is today.

But what if…

I drew the pig rather quickly, it's just a rough. Needs some polish...

I drew the pig rather quickly, it's just a rough. Needs some polish...

It is possible to put graphics on roller shutters. I’m not a huge fan of them normally.

So what do you think?

WIS.

Some good feedback for this one the Sydenham Forum:

http://alturl.com/qufd

IF YOU LIKE THIS, PLEASE TELL PEOPLE ABOUT IT!

Designed by Good People
www.designedbygoodpeople.com

NEW DEAL FOR COMMUNITIES


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…

WHAT IF no8: OUR EMPTY SHOPS LOOKED LIKE THIS


Empty shops are a blight on any high street (although sales of window polish go up).

W.I.S. Thinks that owners of empty shops should be forced to ensure that they are presented in an acceptable way. It’s a great opportunity to have art displayed, local history, or as in the case of this ad, history AND an advertisement. Everyone seems to hate those triangular boards stuck above shops saying ‘shop to let’.

The old curtain shop currently looks like this:

SAD, DEPRESSING, BORING, UNLOVED

SAD, DEPRESSING, BORING, UNLOVED

So how can we take something that is a blight on the high street and turn it into something positive?

What if it looked like this:

POSITIVE, PRETTIER, UNIQUE TO THE AREA

POSITIVE, PRETTIER, UNIQUE TO THE AREA


Continue reading ‘WHAT IF no8: OUR EMPTY SHOPS LOOKED LIKE THIS’


Archives

Good People tweet