Dancing about Architecture

Algin Office Equipment

For reasons unknown to me, downtown Cincinnati’s Elgin Office Equipment and Elgin Retro have recently changed their names to Algin [of course, confusingly, the URL hasn’t yet been changed]. Consequently, the signage has undergone a bizarre DIY alteration. So, is typography by amateurs kind of like dancing about architecture — “a really stupid thing to want to do?” Let’s examine this closely.

This black-and-white sign features some of my favorite commercial typography, and yet I never photographed it until I saw this change. I hope you can appreciate the ghost of the lovely “E” that was, and shake your head at the Frankenstein monster it has become.

Algin Office Equipment

Algin Office Equipment

Here, the intervention is at least consistent, though the style, size and weight of the “A” are consistently wrong.

Algin Office Equipment

Algin Office Equipment

It’s all quite charming, actually, though I would be more appreciative if that “E” hadn’t been so beautiful. Does anyone know the story behind the name change?

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5 thoughts on “Dancing about Architecture

  1. I prefer the “frankenstein” quality of the A over the “lovely E.” There’s something to be said about the fact that until this DIY change you didn’t photograph the sign. It may be ugly by professional typography standards, but it sure is interesting and exciting to me. Also, makes me appreciate the artistic quality of the original type that much more! They could have renamed as “Aloin” though…that “g” needs some work…

  2. Have you checked the sign lately? They have a really nice sign hanging out from their building now. I ask the owner why they had changed the name. He was really nice, and said the former owner would not let him use the Elgin name. So he switched it to Algin, good idea. He also said he is planning on putting up a new sign on the building.

  3. I guess I haven’t walked by there in a couple of weeks; I’ll have to check on the signage metamorphosis now! I do really like the b/w sign, even with the strange alteration. It’ll be a bummer if all that signage gets replaced — it’s kind of nice to see the layers in the photos above.

  4. Pingback: Roselyn Bakery Frankensigns in Indianapolis « Visualingual

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