The Fourth Wall

8.19.08 Beach Type

I try so hard not to “work” during the little vacation time I take each year. It’s important to get away, relax, see and hear the ocean, eat boardwalk fries drenched in vinegar and salt, read a couple of books, &tc&tc&tc!

And for the most part, that’s exactly what I did last week. Interspersed with just a tiny bit of email, a few office calls, and my usual hyper-awareness of color, texture, forms, design-in-general, and TYPE. I love type. I can’t help it. Type is everywhere; good, bad and ugly, and in the case of Rehoboth Beach Delaware (and so many other locales), it can truly define place. Pictured above, the super iconic Dolles Salt Water Taffy (since 1910!) signage. So big! So retro! And so wonderfully ominous (especially for a candy shop) against the darkening sky.

I love the fat serif type in circles (Bodoni Poster?) above and especially the crazy-colorful palette. However, I would highly recommend Snyder’s Candy shop over the ever-present Candy Kitchen. Snyders has some amazing gourmet chocolate covered pretzels and TONS of retro candy that you’ve forgotten how much you once loved.

Neon is always fun, no matter what. This signage hangs in the window at Louie’s Pizza (best at the beach in our opinion, forget Grotto’s and Nicola), where a waitress named Noelle remembered Molly and I from two years ago. I am NOT kidding!

The above specimen was found on the seat of one of the long white benches that line the boardwalk. Abstract, weathered and so cool.

This sign appeared to be hand-painted in a turn-of-the-century carnival style, but I think it was done fairly recently and faux distressed. Great job… . I love the font, colors and overall feel of this piece. The Boardwalk 5&10 is super fun too, with terrific tacky souvenirs and sundries.

The type above isn’t of great interest (especially those irritatingly misaligned bullets!) but the image of the surfing ice cream cone is great! Best soft-serve frozen custard on the beach: Kohr Bros (since 1917!), with a new flavor that mixes caramel and cappacino. YUMMMMY!! Observing and documenting typography gives me sheer pleasure, to be sure. But the real satisfaction comes later, when these images and memories work their way out of my files and my mind and into my creative projects.

One Response to “Beach Type”

  1. jen pepper Says:

    le sigh! came across your wonderful blog today. I’m originally from rehoboth beach and go back every year. Have always been inspired by the fonts in the area, glad to see a fellow designer is as well.

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