I've been passing this shop on a regular basis for 30 years or more. For as long as I can remember it was called 'Three Cs' and had a window display featuring women's wigs and hand-made greetings cards that I'm certain never changed once in all those 30 years. And in all that time I'd never, ever seen a customer going in or coming out.
But, as you see, all that's about to change. Because it's been painted pink in order to become The Sweet Treat Co - where, as it says in the window, "Old Fashioned Sweets are Back in Fashion" (I think there's a hyphen missing from that statement, don't you Mike?).
Anyway, one imagines that this is somebody taking the plunge and setting up their very own business, perhaps for the first time. And jolly good luck to them: I hope it becomes a roaring success. And I hope they've been to Ostend to check out the sweet shops there - if they can make their window display half as enticing as that, they'll have the customers flooding in.
But there's something about the new fascia that upsets me. Now I don't want to be hyper-critical and start picking holes in the design. Clearly the typography is a little heavy handed. And why choose Metro Office Bold, when Gill Sans would have achieved the desired effect far more elegantly? But I'm guessing that this has been done by somebody who isn't a designer, or at least a typographer. Which is probably all to do with limited resources. So, I'm not going to criticise someone for a lack of typographic expertise. After all, the fascia has to attract attention - and, in that respect, I've think they've hit the nail on the head.
Mind you, I wouldn't have chosen that shade of pink. No, Pantone 176 would have been a much better choice (go on, look it up and see if you agree with me). But I think the colour here has been determined by what's available in perspex. For that's what the backing board for the fascia has been made from. And that brings me on to what's really wrong with this sign:
perspex obviously comes in standard sizes which are too small to make
this fascia with one sheet. Which means that it has to have a join
somewhere. And whoever made this sign has decided to make one piece as
large as it can be, and then make the second piece to fit the remainder of the
total width. Instead of, as he (or maybe she, but I very much doubt it)
should have done, making the join exactly down the centre. That really
upsets me, that does.
...because I've shut up shop at celsius. Thirty years that little venture lasted, which I guess isn't bad. Mind you, it wasn't always called celsius. It started out in February 1979 when I set myself up as a freelancer above the barber's salon. And I was happy to trade under my own name for the first ten years or so. But then I started taking on staff (that is, more than one assistant at a time) - and so we had to have a company name.
It served us well, that name. But, of course, we chose it pre-internet. And do you know what the biggest drawback of being called celsius is in the internet age? Well, rather surprisingly (or perhaps not), it's that at least half the world thinks that celsius is spelt celcius, with two two Cs and not two Ss.
I'm quite genuinely moved by the number of you who have commented or emailed me separately with some very kind words of support. Thank you - that's all I can say, but it's heart felt nonetheless.
And thanks Richard and Mike for the Twitter advice: but I won't be doing that either. Not least because I'm not allowed to be 'davidthedesigner' (it's just one character too many for a user name). I did reflect upon my 'big bruvva' post and tried on 'davidthedesigna' for size - but it's just not for me. Anyway, there are things going on, and I just need to get away from this technology for a while. That's all. But I will be back. I'm not sure when, but I'll let you know. And I'll maybe give you the odd update now and again to let you know how things are going.
I had to reflect upon why I write this blog, so I went back to the beginning. And see how I concluded that post? This blog's a journey: I don't know where it's going to take me. But now I need to break the journey. Because I'm at a crossroads. And one has to be very careful at crossroads. But the journey will resume one day soon. Until then, and if you have been, thank you for listening.
Well, here we are midway through 2009, and things are turning out to be not quite what I had anticipated (and certainly not what I had planned). And so it's necessary for me to take my leave of you so that I can go and concentrate on other things.
It's been fun, this past two and a half years. I've enjoyed your company and I've made some very good friends. And I'll miss you, for sure. But sometimes a man has to do what a man has to do. I'll say no more than that.
I hope I'll be back - but it may not be for some time. It depends how things pan out. We'll see.