Recently we were in Tate Britain and were looking through their bookshop and noticed this book about coffee shops in London. Then we saw their page on the Electric Cafe.

We actually designed it as part of the high street regeneration we worked on with L.B. Lambeth and the GLA/Design for London. We got sign maker Butler Dsigns (more images in their link) to recreate the original sign which was badly damaged under the Pepsi plastic sign we had removed.

The new sign is a hand painted direct copy of the original and was distressed and aged. The existing sign writing in the window was also retouched to make it more legible without losing what made it special and unique to start with.

The New Sign:

THE ELECTRIC SIGN The Electric Cafe Window Designed By Good People The Electric Cafe, Designed By Good People ELECTRIC WINDOW ELECTRIC SIGN_LR Electric Cafe inside

This is what it looked like before:

The Electric Cafe Before

It’s been a cafe for years. We had the shop front painted to match the sign and a traditional awning installed by A25 awnings.

The old plastic Pepsi sign we had removed was mounted on a wall inside (they are proud of the cafes history and there are vintage framed pictures of the cafe inside). Inside it’s a slice of the past with formica tables and rustic chairs. Nothing is corporate or over designed.

Sometimes, a designer’s job is to be subtle and emphasise character and charm.

It’s a great cafe, if you are in West Norwood, it’s well worth a visit. Oh, and their poached eggs are great!

Say hi to Stavros if you pop in.

We work on a lot of high street regeneration schemes and we are advisors to the Mayor of London and GLA on high street regeneration. We will be posting more about them in the future.

This was also featured in the Tower of Babel in the V&A Museum.