WHEN HIGH STREETS HAD PRIDE IN APPEARANCE

WHEN HIGH STREETS HAD PRIDE IN APPEARANCE

Once upon a time shops would look proud of themselves. Shop owners would stand outside of their shop with a look of pride on their faces. Goods would be beautifully displayed. Sign writers, sign makers and glass cutters (these were generally from the area, all had their own styles and would help give an area its own visual identity) would make the most humble of businesses beautiful. These shops aren’t exclusive boutiques. They simply believed in enticing people into the shop by making their store as attractive as possible. They had pride in their appearance. Even a humble dairy or fruit and vegetable shop. They were beautiful. Some shops were so proud of where they were, they put the name of the road on the shop. We did this with Billings. Most shops these days don’t even put the number on the shop front. We think they should by law. Today Sydenham Road is pretty shabby. Compare the above with the same road today: Much as we love Mustis above (which is what everyone calls the store) the signs hasn’t changed for years, it pre-dates the current owners (Musti is one of the friendliest shore owners in Sydenham). Garam Masala have put tiles more suited to a toilet on the outside which is totally out of keeping with the building. Many people say this is a great dry cleaners. We use another one, despite this one being nearer to where we live. It just doesn’t look like it will do a good job. For months they actually had a mouldy wedding dress in the window and in 4 years...
THE OUTER LONDON FUND

THE OUTER LONDON FUND

As you may have guessed, we have been busy. Too busy to update our blog, finish our logo and identity and get our web site up and running. This is because we have been involved with Design for London, the GLA and the Outer London Fund. Alongside this and work for our other clients, we also became parents for the first time! First of all we were involved in creating the identity and prospectus for the Outer London Fund which was designed to help rejuvenate high streets around London. Due to our work on Sydenham Road via our What If Sydenham project we were invited to have a chat with the rather lovely people at Design for London. One identity and two prospectus’s later they then invited us to present our thoughts on High Streets at City Hall to all the Outer London Fund winning boroughs. The reaction was amazing. We had a queue of people wanting to talk to us about high street improvements and shop signage. We advised 14 different councils in the coming months on branding and design. We worked with Bromley Council, Muswell Hill Traders, Lewisham, Harrow, Hillingdon and Hounslow Councils on branding, high street enhancement schemes and websites. Round 1 is almost at a close, but Round 2 is awaiting in the wings. It’s been an exciting journey and we have learnt a lot, both from working with councils and local traders. Nearly all the problems we have found are universal and make even more sense of the proposals put forward by Mary Portas in her report. We will share some of our learnings...