Signs of Charleston: Upper King Street

Since I started blogging, one of the things that I have noticed is that I am more attentive to my work and my surroundings.  I talked about this a little in my Bloggers are cool post. When I walk around, I sometimes feel like I am on a constant search. I'm looking for ideas I can store in my memory bank.  I'm collecting.

And recently the building signs of Charleston have peaked my interest.  I have started to document those signs under #signsofcharleston.

Graphic design, signage and branding are things that I am very interested in.  Every sign is designed to sell something.  A successful sign will typically grab your attention and deliver a strong message through effective graphics and word selection.  As architects, we are selling things every day.  We discuss our designs ideas with our colleagues, we present building designs to our clients, and we sell our services to potential clients when we interview.  And sometimes the secret is all in the packaging.

I'd like to improve my salesmanship.  I'd like to be better at articulating my ideas.  I'd like to be a better presenter of our projects.  

I'd like to be a great sign.

I'd also like to design great signs.  

Every building we design has signs on and in them...lots of them.  And usually the architect gets the first crack at it.

One of my methods for adding to my tool belt is by observing what others are doing.     

This post shows some of my favorite signs on Upper King Street.  Upper King has had a renaissance the last few years and has become the place to be.  You will find some of the city's best restaurants in this district as well as some of the largest developments Charleston has seen.

Enjoy this tour of Charleston's hippest district through the lens of my iPhone 6.  With a little extra editing help from my favorite app Camera+.




Basil Thai Cuisine.  Great sign, and great Pad Thai.  Check out the bike on top.

The Belmont has an ol' timey 20's era feel.  And the sign says that.  Grab a classy cocktail and soak in this hip joint.

Isn't this awesome?  Blue Bicycle Books puts this bike and the books out everyday.  

These marquee type signs harken back to a time when furniture stores were commonplace on King Street.  There are only a couple that remain.

Move over craft beer scene!  Charleston makes all types of spirits.

This just seems like the perfect branding. I think they borrowed an idea from our friends at Blue Bicycle Books.

Ironically this restaurant only serves red meat.  JK

I love this sign.  That orange metal is called cor-ten steel.  It forms a natural rust finish that actually protects the metal.  HoM has great burgers, delicious cocktails and a couple ping-pong tables in the back.  What's not to like?

I will admit, I know nothing about Hook except that I dig their storefront.  I googled it and apparently they are an advertising company.  Their advertising worked!

White graphics on glass just seems to work every time.  I have heard that Juanita's has the best chips, salsa and Margaritas. Wait.....that's every Mexican restaurant.

These old faded painted brick signs are often referred to as ghost signs.  Unfortunately I heard that this one is going to be removed.  A restaurant is being built in this building.

This sign is simple and classic.  We have had a couple outstanding meals at the Macintosh.  Can you see me?

I just love that there is an old fashion toy store on King Street.  And what a great name.

People Matter is one of the new tech companies in town.  They have become known for their swanky office space that includes every version of Mario Kart and a roof-top bar stocked with beer on tap.  I guess they practice what they preach...people matter.

A few years ago I noticed a trend in the Charleston bar scene towards 20's era design and old fashion cocktail menus.  I heard someone actually refer to it as prohibition era design.  And then this place came along and actually called itself Prohibition.  Wondering how I created the look on this picture.  I used the Camera + grunge filter.

So pure.

The Rarebit has been dubbed as an 'upscale diner.'  They have created this great vintage feel and the food is great.  They also introduced Charleston to the Moscow Mule.  Thanks, Rarebit!

Republic is where you go when you want to get your dance on.  Cool sign.

Sugaring studio and organic boutique.  That's how we roll!

And one final furniture marquee sign.  This sign is so bitchin that it has it's own built-in ladder.  I have heard that it is only a matter of time before someone buys this building and replaces it with a new development.  Let's hope they keep this awesome sign.

Steve Ramos...........signing off,