It tells you where to park, what’s for sale, or how much for a haircut. I may not go in for the advertised clutch job or psychic reading, but I’m sold on the peeling-paint fonts and colorful crooked letters that make the walls come to life. A field trip through the city is a walk through a typographic gallery. It’s as if these walls can talk.
Check out our urban typography mini journal here http://etsy.me/1z0VNzF . Perfect for recording field notes on your urban rambles.
Up until a few months ago, you’d be driving east on 3rd toward downtown LA and see the prominent Nutel Motel sign, wide strips of plastic signage above billboard lettering mounted on a massive pole. Nutel, a phenomenal name for a motel. Not that I would have wanted to stay overnight in tacky stucco multilevel motel below the sign. But the name was brilliant wordplay, stupid and brilliant at the same time. Now, however, Nutel the sign is gone. First high winds punched holes in the Nutel part, then the sign was completely replaced, name and all. The motel remains but Nutel is no longer there.
Life is a lot different for the Moytel, located further east, on the north end of downtown’s Chinatown. The Moytel, a seemingly Yiddish-Chinese interpretation of a standard motel, looks from the outside to be decently kept up. Maybe they’ve even evicted the bedbugs, something I doubt the Nutel and its successor never attempted.