Photographs: On Signs


About 3 1/2 years ago, I shared a post on signs and how I have such an affinity for them. And I think I've finally realized why I find signs so fascinating. Not only do I appreciate the aesthetic design of a sign, but I also think signs hold a deeper meaning for me. You see, I'm someone who pretty much makes decisions based on noticing subtle and not-so-subtle "signs," and how they might be guiding my life.

So perhaps my attraction to signs is, in a strange way, a reminder from the Universe to keep following the "signs."

Here are some great quotes I found online about signs:
"Ignoring the signs is a good way to end up at the wrong destination."
 "The Universe conspires to reveal the truth and to make your path easier if you have the courage to follow the signs." - Lisa Unger
 "The funny thing about stop signs is that they're also start signs." - Maureen Johnson
Last week I took my camera out into the city and captured some signs that caught my eye.

Please enjoy...













This is a restored vintage sign that I spotted on the front of a converted apartment building over a restaurant. Does anyone besides me remember the Automat? They were faaaabulous and I wish they would bring them back.


A vintage machinery shop sign.



Have a lovely Monday, y'all!
X

50 comments

  1. Good morning, Ron. The last sign perfectly describes all the others. Yes, I share your enthusiasm for signs, unfortunately where I live they don't go in for that sort of thing. Sad or what? Signs brighten all shopping areas but a thought just popped into my head ... maybe we don't have them because of the insecurity of businesses around here.


    When I was abroad I used to admire all the signs, especially carved ones. I took a photo of a lovely one which I will put on the blog for you to see.


    I like the quote by Lisa Unger/ How true!


    Enjoy your week - whatever the weather x

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  2. What magnificent signs you found! The blurr one is so clever. And the Paris garden one makes me want to walk right in. I don't notice that many signs here, but now I want to take notice.

    Have a great week, Ron!

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  3. Ron, you and I must be around the same age because I do remember the Automat. What a great concept! I'm originally from New York and we had them there. Unfortunately, about the time I remember them, they were slowly going out of business.


    Fantastic photographs! Each one unique in its own way. What part of Philly are these from?


    I like that last quote!

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  4. "I'm someone who pretty much makes decisions based on noticing subtle and not-so-subtle "signs," and how they might be guiding my life." I'm the same way, Ron! I really like how you incorporated your affinity for signs as meaning something more. And I love that second quote!

    Great photos! The Parisian sign is my favorite. It actually looks like it was taken on a street in Paris. What a beautiful website!



    Have a wonderful week, Ron x

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  5. Good morning Ronnie! My favorite signs in this bunch were "blur" and 'lovely". I love your posts like this. So much fun and so fascinating so see all the awesome sights you are surrounded by.


    BTW, I bought a bottle of that wine. Planning to crack it open with dinner one night this week :)

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  6. Rob LenihanJanuary 05, 2015

    Hey. Ron! These signs are so cool! You have such a great eye for taking the perfect photo!


    I feel like I'm traveling through time, from the funky (hush) and Blur signs to the old school Automat and Machinery signs.


    And I really love and appreciate those great quotes, especially the one about the Stop sign. Going through a little bit of post-holiday blues, so those encouraging words are most appreciated!.


    Great post, buddy. Take care and keep reading those signs!

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  7. Ron, my two favorite signs are the Body Graphics and Blurr. Way cool! And I don't know whether I mentioned this before, but I'm a tattoo lover. I don't have a lot of them (three), but plan on getting another one this month.


    Love the quotes too!


    Great post, dude!

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  8. These are some really cool signs. I can't help but wonder what type of a store "Habit" is. I mean there are so many vices in the world, not that all habits are bad either. Hmmm...enlighten me!
    And yes, I look for those invisible signs as well, the synchronicities in life.

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  9. As a web designer, I'm fascinated with logos. And you know, it's really hard creating a logo that matches a business! The ones that stood out in your post, I think, belong to Blurr and (hush). Those I simply love!

    Perhaps when we're attuned to the universe, we're more likely to search for signs, Ron. I know I tend to do that as well. Of course, maybe we project some of our hopes and desires onto them, too?!?

    As for the Automat, no, I don't remember that. Maybe it was just an East Coast-thing??

    Happy Monday, dear!

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  10. I like (hush). Not that I have any idea what they sell, or Blurr, come to that :)
    I would be lost without signs. Automat reminds me of the laundromat, we used to have. Where you went to do your washing, before people had washing machine of their own.

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  11. Mark PetruskaJanuary 05, 2015

    Too soon for the BLURR sign...too soon. Everything looked that way to me a week ago! I too have a fondness for signs, especially vintage motel ones. I've long thought about starting up a collection of those...I know there are a few around Portland that are pretty cool. I'll put a pin in the idea for a future post!

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  12. Oh, I love them all! I really love the Vintage ones and 3rd street Habit makes me wonder if it is worth picking up. Things that make you go hmm... Looked like a splendid day my friend! Signs are a wonderful thing. :-D

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  13. Hey there Valerie!

    "Signs brighten all shopping areas but a thought just popped into my head ... maybe we don't have them because of the insecurity of businesses around here."

    You know, I never thought of it that way but you're right. We have the same thing going on here in the States. Shops open then close so quickly, especially the smaller businesses. And it's a shame because many of the smaller businesses are so unique and charming.

    "When I was abroad I used to admire all the signs, especially carved ones. I took a photo of a lovely one which I will put on the blog for you to see."

    Oh goodie...I can't wait to see it on your blog!

    Isn't that a brilliant quote? And it's so true!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, dear lady. Have a fabulous week!

    X to you and Joe!

    P.S. we may be getting some snow tomorrow and I can't wait because we've had none so far this winter.

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  14. " And the Paris garden one makes me want to walk right in."


    Yes, isn't that a charming and inviting sign? And they do such beautiful work there.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a grrrreat week!


    X

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  15. Hiya Elaine!

    "Unfortunately, about the time I remember them, they were slowly going out of business.


    Same here!

    I'm 59 years old and when I was a kid, I remember my mother taking me to an Horn and Hardart Automat for lunch in the city. But as you said, around that time is when they were slowly going out of business. They were the coolest things! You will often see them featured in older movies, like Doris Day films.



    Most of these photos were taken down in Old City. I love that area!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a super week! We might be getting some snow tomorrow!


    X

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  16. Hola Denise!

    " I really like how you incorporated your affinity for signs as meaning something more."

    It's funny because that suddenly dawned on me last week when I took these photographs.

    "The Parisian sign is my favorite. It actually looks like it was taken on a street in Paris. What a beautiful website!"



    You're right, it does! Isn't it a fabulous sign? Love their website! They do such beautiful work!


    Have a wonderful week too, girl. And thanks for stopping by!
    X

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  17. Hey there Shae!

    Isn't Blurr a cool sign? It's a nightclub in Old city. I've never been inside, but judging from the pictures on their website, it's looks like fun spot!

    "BTW, I bought a bottle of that wine. Planning to crack it open with dinner one night this week :)"



    Oooooo....glad to hear that you pick up a bottle of the wine! Please like me know what you think, but I have a feeling you're going to enjoy it :) I need to get another bottle myself.


    Have a super week, my friend. And thanks so much for stopping by!
    X

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  18. Hey there Rob!

    Thank you :) I had so much fun taking these photos.

    "especially the one about the Stop sign."



    Isn't that a faaaabulous quote? And I never thought of a stop sign that way, but it's true. Stops are also starts.


    Have a SUPER week, buddy! And thanks so much for stopping by!

    X

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  19. Hiya Matt!


    "And I don't know whether I mentioned this before, but I'm a tattoo lover. I don't have a lot of them (three), but plan on getting another one this month."


    I have ONE tattoo that I got waaaaaaay back in 1982. I'm glad I got it, but I will never get another one because it hurt like hell - HA! I think tattoo art is amazing, but I'm too chicken to ever get another one. I work with a guy who has a TON them on his body and when I first meet him I said, "How did you ever sit through those!?!"


    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a most excellent week!
    X

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  20. "I can't help but wonder what type of a store "Habit" is. I mean there are so many vices in the world, not that all habits are bad either. Hmmm...enlighten me!"

    HA! Suzi, I thought the same thing too when I first saw that sign! It's actually a women's clothing store that sells some really beautiful stuff. If you click on the link, it will take you to their online store.

    " I look for those invisible signs as well, the synchronicities in life."



    Amen!


    Have a super week, my friend. And thanks so much for stopping by!
    X

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  21. "The machine shop sign seems to another sign underneath that looks a lot like a Masonic symbol."


    Yes, Grace, isn't that interesting? I took that photograph down in Old City. It's no longer a machinery shop, but the owner of the current business left the sign up because he loved it.


    Have a super week, my friend. And thanks so much for stopping by!
    X

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  22. Hellooo there Debbie!

    Yes, I know that you, being a web designer, can really appreciate how challenging it is to come up with a logo that matches the business.

    "Blurr and (hush). Those I simply love!"

    Aren't they faaabulously clever? I especially love (hush).

    "Of course, maybe we project some of our hopes and desires onto them, too?!?"

    Yes, absolutely! And when we're attuned to the universe, I think we're given signs that direct the course of our desires. And many times for me, I am given signs to perhaps take a different course/route to get to my destination.

    "As for the Automat, no, I don't remember that. Maybe it was just an East Coast-thing??"



    I think they may be an East Coast thing, you're right. Although, they were also popular in some parts of Europe.


    Happy Monday, dear friend. And thanks so much for stopping by!
    X

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  23. Yes, you are sooooooo right, Fiona. A work of art and humour in themselves!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a lovely week!
    X

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  24. Hey there Babs!


    "I like (hush). Not that I have any idea what they sell, or Blurr, come to that :)"


    Aren't they clever signs? (hush) is hair salon and Blurr is a nightclub in a part of Philadelphia known as, Old City. You would really like area because it's very artsy and unique. It's one of my favorite areas to photograph. It reminds me a lot of SoHo in NYC.


    Automat's were self-serve restaurants, in which you placed coins into little windows that contained various foods, like, sandwiches, salads, drinks and desserts. And then after you paid for them (with the coins), the door would automatically open and serve your food. It was so cool because all the food was fresh and tasted homemade. Automat's were mainly an American thing, but they were also popular in parts of Europe.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a super week!
    X to you and Mo!

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  25. "Too soon for the BLURR sign...too soon. Everything looked that way to me a week ago!"

    HA! OMG Mark, that's right! Sorry for the BLURR :)

    "I too have a fondness for signs, especially vintage motel ones. I've long thought about starting up a collection of those.."

    Me too, the vintage ones are my favorite. I especially like NEON vintage signs!

    "I know there are a few around Portland that are pretty cool. I'll put a pin in the idea for a future post!"



    Oh goodie! Can't wait to see them! And I bet Portland has some beauties too!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Hope your feeling better. Have a super week!


    X to you and Tara!

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  26. "I find myself studying them as I walk along any shopping street."

    Meeeeee too, Jay! And I especially love the signs on the store fronts of privately owned businesses because they are usually more clever and unique than corporate businesses.

    "The other sort of signs are all around us, if we care to look, are they not?"



    Yup, they sure are!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a fantastic week!
    X

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  27. Hello there Angelia!

    " and 3rd street Habit makes me wonder if it is worth picking up. Things that make you go hmm."



    HA! It made me wonder the same thing when I first spotted that sign. However, it's a women's clothing store that offers some really unique items that hopefully become a "habit." I think the sign is so clever because it's play on words.


    Have a splendid week, my friend. And thanks so much for stopping by!
    X

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  28. You, sir, are a genius!!! Holy cow!!!! The fact that you took pictures of signs... I LOVE your eye and what you appreciate.... how amazingly cool. And then to do the post with them. There are a few I especially like. The blur is so cool. The old machinery sign is WAY cool. OH OH OH and the Body Graphics is GORGEOUS!!!!!

    LOVE THESE!

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  29. " "The funny thing about stop signs is that they're also start signs." - Maureen Johnson


    Ron, that's my favorite quote of the ones you shared! And what an excellent selection of sign! Your eye for taking photographs is wonderful. They always look so professional. My three favorites are Menagerie, Habit and Blurr. Although, the Machinery one is great too because the whole picture looks so vintage.


    I didn't know what an Automat was but I checked out the link and found it fascinating!

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  30. "I could hear the disco music in my head too looking at those stairs."


    HA! I swear to god, I could too, Benze! The interior of the store is very cool-looking and so beautifully organized. I'm not crazy about their clothing style though, because it's all very much the same.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Hope you're doing well.


    (((((((((((( You ))))))))))))


    Have a great week!
    X

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  31. Aw...thanks, Katherine :) I had so much fun taking these pictures and putting them together for this post.

    "The blur is so cool."



    Isn't Blurr so cool-looking? And being a nightclub, I'm sure people feel BLURRY when they walk out - HA!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a most excellent week!
    X

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  32. Hey ho Robert!

    Don't you love that quote? I think it's brilliant! What I love about the Machinery Shop sign is how vintage it looks. And I also love how it's still there and no took it down because it's like seeing a part of history.

    "I didn't know what an Automat was but I checked out the link and found it fascinating!"



    OMG...they were faaabulous! Automat's were the start of fast-food, but at the same time, the food they served always tasted so fresh and homemade. The whole concept was so cool!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Hope you're Monday was great! Have a super week!
    X

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  33. Did you purposely blur the sign on the name Blurr? Or is that how the sign looks? I love these signs!

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  34. Every time you post about something in your city, I want to hop in the car and GO THERE! It looks like such a fun city!! You are SO good at taking photos of awesome shops!! I just LOVE them!! I had to go look at what an automat was...as I had never heard that term before. We didn't have those when I was growing up...in MA, NJ, or OH! Hope you aren't FREEZING like we are...I feel like we are living in the North Pole! It is MINUS five outside!! xo Jeanne and the girls

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  35. OMG!!! I had to come back and leave another comment...you know at the end of your blog where it says something about ... these other posts may be of interest to you?? Well, the one that was selected for me..."Do Orgasms Make You Blush?" OMFG! I thought I would DIE...what a freakin' HILARIOUS post Ron!!! Seriously...you need to write a book. It would be a Best Seller for sure!!! That must have been one of your funniest days of work EVER!!! I love it!!! bwahahahahaha!!!

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  36. Hi Benze!


    No, that sign is actually how it looks. And I have no idea how they did that, isn't it cool?


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a fabulous week!


    X

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  37. Hey there Jeanne!

    Aw..thank you :) Philly is such a great city for taking photographs because of the diversity in architecture. It's an old city; therefore it's a mixture of old mixed with modern.

    "I had to go look at what an automat was...as I had never heard that term before. We didn't have those when I was growing up...in MA, NJ, or OH!"



    Aren't they cool? I think they were primarily in NY and PA on the east coast. However, I was surprised to read how they were very popular in parts of Europe as well.


    Yes, it's freezing and SNOWING here today as well! I have off from work, so I will heading out soon to capture some photographs, because you know me, I LOVE snow!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a super week and stay warm!


    X to you and the girlz!

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  38. "Well, the one that was selected for me..."Do Orgasms Make You Blush?"


    OMG....yes, I forgot about that post. I think I posted it about 5 or 6 years ago when I was working for NARS cosmetics. Don't you love the name? Orgasm! And it's a faaaaabulous blush!


    Thanks for reading it, my friend!


    X

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  39. Wonderful graphics on these choices. I do love the vintage signs...they have a character all their own. "Hush" is very cleverly done. It's waayyyy to cold to venture out here. Tomorrow's high is suppose to be 9 with -20 wind chill. Not. Going. Anywhere. :-)

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  40. " I do love the vintage signs...they have a character all their own."

    Me too, Lisa, and you're right...they have a "character" all their own!

    "It's waayyyy to cold to venture out here. Tomorrow's high is suppose to be 9 with -20 wind chill. Not. Going. Anywhere. :-)"

    WOW! Not nearly as cold here. I think it's suppose be about 19 degrees today. We've also had some snowfall, but not a lot. Usually the day after it snows it get's much colder, so tomorrow will be VERY cold.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a super week and stay warm.

    Thinking about you and hoping all is well.

    ((((((( You ))))))
    X

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  41. That's a great collection of signs. I appreciate it when a store puts some effort into having a painted or metal sign made to match the feel of the place, rather than resorting to ugly vinyl banners or those signs with the letters you can change around.


    Hope you're having a great week!

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  42. " I appreciate it when a store puts some effort into having a painted or metal sign made to match the feel of the place...."

    Me too! Which is why I truly admire those businesses that put so much creative effort into coming up with signs such as these.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Hope you're have a great week too!

    X

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  43. Geraldine H.January 08, 2015

    What a great city you live in Ron! How cool are these signs, I love them all, especially the automat one. Thanks for sharing another beautiful slice of Philly! ;-)


    Have a great weekend. Enjoy that snow. We had a bunch too but it's all melting away. So pretty while it was here though.

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  44. Geraldine H.January 08, 2015

    PS: Love your new header look!

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  45. Hellooooo there Geraldine!


    I don't know whether you had Automat's where you lived growing up, but they were the COOLEST things! I love the design of that sign because it's so art deco!


    Yes, the snow we got a few days ago didn't last as well. I can still see it on the roofs of the buildings when I look out my window, but there is none on the ground. It's very cold today, but at least the sun is out.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a GREAT rest of your week and weekend!


    X

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  46. Thank you, Geraldine :)


    X

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  47. I've not ventured to Old City yet. But after seeing these photographs, I will!

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  48. Elaine, it's one of my favorite areas of Philly. And you'll also find some great restaurants for lunch!

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  49. Wow---you have a load of nifty signs where you live. How could I not love the clever-ness of some of the shops. Branding is huge around here--having a sign/logo that draws people in and sticks in their brain is everything.
    And those 'signs' that pop up in my life......constantly.......are nudges in the right direction.

    Love the vintage signs, by the way. If you looked at the basement and the train layout you'd know that. LOL We've got those progressive neon's going on all over the place. Himself got a 'Reddy Killowat' for the holidays that he's thrilled to have. It'll look cool with the other flashy ones we have going on down there-- 'Greyhound' and 'Western Union' and 'Burma Shave' and all those 'old' or 'retro' signs that you just have to adore...
    Retro--ha.....those things were still going on in my childhood. *ahem*
    I miss the 'old' neon signs--even the flashing 'open' signs are those dumb LED lights now a days.......
    Lovely photos, sir. I adore seeing your world.

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  50. "Branding is huge around here--having a sign/logo that draws people in and sticks in their brain is everything. "

    Yes, Mel, and I've seen some of those signs/logos from photos you've shared on your blog and they're GREAT!

    "We've got those progressive neon's going on all over the place. Himself got a 'Reddy Killowat' for the holidays that he's thrilled to have. It'll look cool with the other flashy ones we have going on down there-- 'Greyhound' and 'Western Union' and 'Burma Shave' and all those 'old' or 'retro' signs that you just have to adore..."


    WOW...and I bet those neon signs look so cool with his train layout; giving it a real 'vintage feel.' I adore NEON. Especially the old ones!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, dear lady! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


    X

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