Fox’s Clothing Ghost Sign in Cincinnati

Fox's Clothing Ghost Sign in Cincinnati

What does the fox say? I guess we’ll never know because, after 77 years in business, Fox’s Clothing has closed its doors. All that remains is this ghost signage on Court St. between Vine and Race in downtown Cincinnati.

Fox’s sold school uniforms and such, but what always caught my eye was the ligature-like logo. Let’s go to the close-up:

Fox's Clothing Ghost Sign in Cincinnati

I know it’s unintentional, but it looks like VFox’s to me. A VF ligature?!? Ridiculous! A ligature is a single glyph that replaces a specific letter combination, usually to solve the problem of letters running together, as in these common examples using Mrs. Eaves, Zuzanna Licko’s interpretation of the classic Baskerville:

Fox's Clothing Ghost Sign in Cincinnati

More Mrs. Eaves to show ligatures that are primarily decorative, handy for those of us who like to play with our letters. The alternate versions of these letter combinations are definitely more formally pleasing:

Fox's Clothing Ghost Sign in Cincinnati

As you can see, Futura by Paul Renner doesn’t really need fi and fl ligatures, but they’re fun to use when appropriate, highlighting the geometric concept of the typeface:

Fox's Clothing Ghost Sign in Cincinnati

Of course, a VF ligature doesn’t really make sense but, hey, why not? A VL ligature doesn’t make sense either, but that’s essentially what I cobbled together when I designed the VisuaLingual logo:

Fox's Clothing Ghost Sign in Cincinnati

That’s enough nerdy design talk! Back to my question. No one’s really sure what the fox says, but here are some guesses. Warning: you won’t be able to unhear this ridiculously catchy song:

7 thoughts on “Fox’s Clothing Ghost Sign in Cincinnati

  1. Muito legal, sabe, faz pensar realmente em roupas coloridas com inspiração na natureza, em pássaros e outros animais. Seria um bom visual com um colorido fascinante, fuga da mesmiçe. Uma boa tela.

  2. Vivica Fox?
    Weird – I saw a V with a tail & the animal face looked more like a possum.
    But none of that makes any sense.
    and the tail doesn’t look like a possum’s…
    Probably a first name & more like VL.

  3. I’m really sorry they closed. It was a nice place to get kids’ clothes even besides uniforms. I got a lot of nice things for my daughter there when she was in school. A trip there was never complete with a trip to Minges for candy.

  4. You have a point about the ways in which OTR and downtown are changing. There’s definitely a push for more trendy bars, concept restaurants and upscale boutiques, and those sometimes replace these long-standing businesses.

    In the case of Fox’s specifically, I’m not sure that that kind of momentum really exists on Court St. right now. Maybe the business closed for entirely different reasons.

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