Office Furniture Wholesale Ghost Sign in NYC

Office Furniture Wholesale Ghost Sign in NYC

It gets right to the point! Spotted at 31st Dr. and Vernon Blvd. in Queens, across the street from the Socrates Sculpture Park and not too far from the Noguchi Museum we visited last summer.

Office Furniture Wholesale Ghost Sign in NYC

Office Furniture Wholesale Ghost Sign in NYC


9 thoughts on “Office Furniture Wholesale Ghost Sign in NYC

  1. Walked by that building on one of the first nice days this year, a bunch of weeks back, and hoped against hope that some of Astoria and LIC’s old industrial spaces will stay standing, and not be absorbed by the glass-box phenomenon. Some of the old buildings and promo signs are just unbeatable. It’s ironic that the hep thang lately is that old-timey aesthetic, but we’re losing all the actual old-timey artifacts.

  2. I’m a bit mixed about ghost signs. On the one hand, I love them both as design artifacts and as local historical markers. On the other hand, they were never intended to be permanent and, once they’re obsolete, it seems a bit misguided to want to preserve something informative that no longer informs. Of course, that hasn’t stopped my on-going documentation and appreciation of these signs.

    BTW, Cincinnati is home to the American Sign Museum, and Las Vegas has a Neon Museum. I’ve been to the former many times but have yet to check out the latter.

  3. Yeah, it’s like the shining light from old supernovas billions of light years away. Talk about telling you some late information. I hear you about their obsolescence, but, as you say, they do draw me in, too. Is it the inherent warmth and craftsmanship of days gone by that attracts us, pathetic nostalgia, the perception that today’s offerings are hopelessly “inauthentic”? Maybe a three-way collision of the three.

  4. Trying to reconcile logic with nostalgia is an uphill battle, but I persevere. Thus, I have to keep reminding myself that, while I have warm and fuzzy feelings toward ghost signs, I have none for current signs or billboards. But why? Is it because the latter might actually have an effect on me? The old signs would never have been created if it weren’t for some expectation of effectiveness, so what’s the difference?

  5. Curiouser and curiouser, eh! The thought of today’s throwaway corporate branding being revered in decades as somehow warmer and less invasive is hard to swallow, if you follow that logical progression. One big diference might be that so much of today’s visual assault doesn’t exist anywhere but digitally. Without access to our particular servers and computer screens, I wonder how future civilizations will have any real record of our commercial/physical world. You and I still grew up in a time where the ghost signs of that style still existed in the world, and were all over the place, too…

  6. And the effect you mention–really interesting. I’ve always wondered if our generations are the first ones that really recoiled at advertising and found it vulgar. Maybe our predecessors on an old Gotham street from the early 19th Century also bemoaned, “Egads, that sign peddling Molasses surely is an eyesore, a behemoth in mine sight! These ‘advertisements’ surely have gone too far, good sir!”

  7. I think this stuff has always been vulgar. I don’t know this for a fact, but I’m pretty sure that the above sign would not be permitted now — it’s just too large. Signage regulations have been developed to control this aspect of the physical environment.

    There’s an excellent circus poster exhibit at the Cincinnati Art Museum right now, and I love the bright colors, oversized lettering and absolutely outrageous claims. Is it vulgar? Umm, just a bit.

    Printers and sign-painters have always been using the best tools possible. We can look at hand-painted signs or wood type posters and appreciate the handwork and craft because it’s antiquated but, if those people were working today, I’m sure they would happily use our Macs and large-format printers.

    In fact, when people choose to use outmoded technology now [boutiques with hand-painted signs and letterpress business cards, for instance], they get slammed for co-opting “that old-timey aesthetic,” as you yourself said.

    The one thing about today’s proliferation of intangible, on-screen advertising is that, while you can’t touch it, it’ll never completely go away, because all this digital content is constantly archived. It’s not physical detritus, but it’s detritus that will be with us for a long time. It won’t disintegrate over time like flimsy paper or paint on a brick wall.

  8. Pingback: Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens | Visualingual

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