Friday, October 10, 2008

I saw the sign

I gotta admit, Austin has among the coolest signs and logos for its shops, eateries, and events. It's amazing how powerful something as simple as a sign or logo can communicate about an entity. Everywhere I go interesting fonts, color combinations, and other unique design choices tantalize my eyes. Here are a few of my Austin favorites...


P. Terry's. This is my favorite sign in Austin. The red and white on robin's egg blue (green) are a memorable color combination. I love the space age-y feel to it also.

EZ's. The glitz and faux glamour of this diner's sign introduces me to a place that knows better than to take itself too seriously.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. An Austin favorite, with a classic, vintage cinema sign.

Spider House. This place never misses an opportunity to showcase its lovely quirkiness. This sign is no different. It's even laden with Christmas lights, just like the coffee shop's patio.

Sandy's. This sign choice communicates good old fashioned burger joint to me, which is exactly what the place is.

Allen's Boots. I don't care how corny people think it is, I like when people make letters into artwork, or other art into letters (as long as it works). The boot L's work here.

Austin Java. Clearly these guys take their coffee seriously. But otherwise the sign communicates a fun, earthy, laid-back vibe.

Shady Grove. I just love the use of rope to spell "Shady" here. Always have (since the first time I saw this place).

(Did you also notice I'm a fan of neon lights? Especially ones that are also aesthetically pleasing by day.)

UT street sign. I love when colleges make everyday things their own, like this University of Texas street sign. Not only does the burnt orange hue greet the eye, but uses a starkly different font than all other street signs in the city.

Asti. This Italian dinner destination brings modernity to the forefront. Literally.

El Chilito. Just because the fare is overrated doesn't mean you won't be duped by the bright colors and intriguing packaging.

Vivo. I've never eaten here, but the sign hypnotizes me every time I drive by it.

Third Rail Creative. This downtown ad agency makes you forget for a few seconds that you're not only not in New York, but worlds away.

Tesoros. Not sure if I like the font for "Tesoros" or the heart in the logo better. I definitely recognize the Lithos Black in "Trading Company" though!


Whataburger. When I read the word, I hear the voice of the commercials in my head, "Whatta-BURger." The logo has a stark resemblance to the Weezer logo of old, but I really like the repetition of the W's in the logo. It makes it memorable. As does the bright orange coloring and "packaging" of its franchises, with their white-and-orange striped roofs.

Torchy's Tacos. Did you really think I'd complete this post without a Torchy's reference? This logo insinuates that Torchy's is both completely badass and has a little bit of a playful side to it. Bingo.

Austin City Limits logo. The font calls to an earlier disco era. I really like the double outlines and smooth curves of the letters.

Taco Shack. Every location of this taco chain has this wooden plank lettering. It's unlike anything I've seen and really emphasizes the "shack" part of its name.

SXSW 2007 logo. Not sure what font SXSW is on this, but I sure do love it. I really like the simplicity of using thin lines to define what are otherwise bulky and lifeless letters.

Note: 90% of these graphics were found on Flickr (

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