Friday, June 13, 2014

The swinging shop sign

When deciding what type of shop sign / 看板 / kanban I would have for MonCre I considered various painted, home-made, vinyl lettered, wooden and professional facade signage options, and nothing really took my fancy.

The finished sign!

I've always had a bit of a thing for wrought iron style bracketed swinging signs, and couldn't believe my luck when I stumbled across Black Fox Metalcraft who made exactly what I was looking for at a reasonable price, and would ship to Japan! The shipping part of the price was under 100 pounds from the UK to Japan, and there was just a couple of thousand yen to pay on customs fees on arrival. Have a look at Black Fox's website for individual prices for items they make, or contact them directly for a custom quote.

Black Fox do custom designs as well as a range of pre-designed options you can just affix a name or house number to - many of their customers are individuals who want house name plates and decorations for gardens like weathervanes and hanging baskets. I set about seeing how our logo might work as a hanging sign and sent off some ideas to Jenny and John at Black Fox.

It turned out that some time ago Jenny had attended the same college as me in Stockport, though at different times :) I was thrilled to hear that they are based in Greater Manchester, not far from my hometown. How perfect that my sign should come from a small business from back home. I was probably a bit too excited in my emails with Black Fox, but they were kind and patient with me ;)

It was less than two months from the initial placing of the order to the sign arriving. On the day it came I spotted the UPS van pull up outside and started snapping and tweeting photos before the poor guy could get it out of the truck.

Here is the sign, aligned with its bracket on the floor of the shop. It looked rather large lay there on the floor, but once it was up high it seemed smaller and was the perfect size for the shop front. Clearly noticeable but not ostentatious, it matched well with the modern grey and black of my building, and the landlord and lady who live upstairs love it too!

I'd asked Jenny if she could do our precise font for the lettering, and look at the amazing job they did! It's hand-painted on both sides of the sign.

Here are a couple of pics of the grand putting-up-of the sign, with Antonio up the ladder. We had to make sure it was high enough to avoid clattering against the door that opens outwards, so we put it about as high as the traffic signs along the road, which worked out to be a great plan as the sign can be spotted from down the street.

Here we are, my very own beautiful, Diagon Alley-style swinging sign. ;)  Hoorah!

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