My neighborhood is a boulevard/parkway in the west portion in Brooklyn, NY. The neighborhood is called Bay Parkway. Majority of the population is multicultural, but the most common ethnicity who live are Asians. The picture that represents my neighborhood is an Asian Market. It says “Dong Sheng Food.” The font looks like a san serif, Arial Bold font.
I picked this picture because it represents how crowded and tight my neighborhood is. The location of that market is 1 block away from the train station and a bus stop that students take to Midwood High School. The market street is always packed with shoppers and people passing through. The market is usually crowded and I tend to avoid that block when I have to go to school. There are other stores on the same block that are popular. One of them is a liquor store and another one is a bubble tea. Ironically, there are two other Asian markets from a 1-2 block radius from each other. I never understood on why are there 3 markets. But, one of them closed recently. I picked this market because I find their products with more quality and people tend to come to this one more than the other one.
As a New Yorker there is art everywhere you look. One of the most underrated forms of art is Typography on street awnings. We are constantly surrounded by words but we don’t really pay attention to why stores uses specific Fonts.
When I think of my neighborhood I think of Manhattan as a whole. I grew up on the Upper West Side but now I live in Chelsea. Ever since I moved to Chelsea I have felt like the city is my backyard. I can explore as much or as little as I want.
Chelsea got its name from an english man named Thomas Clarke. In 1750 he bought a ten square block-span of land near the water and named it chelsea after a soldier’s home in London. Since then it has expanded to what we still call Chelsea, 34th Street to 14th from 6th ave to the Hudson River.
When I wonder up and down 8th Avenue it’s very commercialized. I see typography in the old style, traditional and modern (Didone and Bodoni). The majority of the commercial storefronts use the typeface San serif. However I notice that serif is on restaurants and things not owned by big corporations like salons, bars, pet stores, restaurants, and some pizza places. Serifs are used to make the word more decorative. I think Chelsea does that to remain true to the English style.
The awning, Chelsea Apothecary shows use of two types of typography in my neighborhood. The chelsea is bold and in all caps with serifs. The word apothecary is all capital letters and no serifs (San serifs). I chose this awning because when I think of Chelsea I think of old combined with new. We have brownstones and five story apartment buildings representing the old. Throw in the high rises, street art on manholes, and newspaper stands (new). The word Chelsea is traditional and an old English word, keeping the identity of the area. Just like the word apothecary. That was a design choice. Instead of using the word pharmacy or medical practitioner.
These City Streets
I usually don’t get the chance to sit and observe the little things. If I’m not up and out the house rushing to school, I can be found frantically maneuvering through commuter traffic on my way to work. As a result, I don’t get to notice all the unique signs from businesses fighting for my attention. While attempting to capture fonts in the neighborhood I work in. I found that most businesses and city signs carried a similar font. Now, I can understand the reasoning behind this. The font is definitely more legible and can be seen from a distance so those who are reading it can get the pertinent information they need regarding where they are allowed or are prohibited from parking. Bold addresses that were clear enough for me to know that I have arrived at the destination that was traveling too. However this Helvetica-esque, Sans Serif font became boring and lifeless. It wasn’t until I stumbled on a building on 27th and 11th ave that locked my gaze and wouldn’t let me go.
The Terminal Warehouse gives a bit of historical insight into what New York City could have been like in its early developmental years. You are almost transported to a time where the area could have been only warehouses and factories in that area. The hustle and bustle of today’s city slows down as you imagine old style cars and sharply dressed men and women coming in and out of this pre-war building. Now this can be completely incorrect and this building could have been erected in more recent times but what makes it interesting is the way the typeface seems to be a hybrid of Egyptian and Sans Serif. This particular font speaks to the notion that the area was moving in a more modern and industrial direction even for its time.
I live in Great Kills on Staten Island. I can neither defend nor deny the opinions many New Yorkers have about my borough, but I do have to say I enjoy living in the most rural part of the city. My neighborhood is full of many competing businesses trying to win over the different members of the community. We have a main road that runs through the center of town called Amboy Road. This is where most people find themselves if they need something to eat, have to go grocery shopping or just need to grab something from the liquor store.
The entire town is filled with tons of delis, pizzerias and basic services like optometrists and financial assistants. My neighborhood seems to have everything one could possibly need, and I feel that shows in the photos I was able to take. Most stores have neon lights that compliment one another rather than clutter or outshine the ones around it. I selected the picture above specifically for this reason. I feel that it best represents the wide variety of services my neighborhood has to offer. It truly showcases that my community is very well rounded.
Some of the other photos in my journal showcase the sometimes lack of diversity within my neighborhood. The abundance of pizzerias and Italian restaurants constantly remind you of how rich of a history Italian-Americans have in my neighborhood. Working in the area and walking around town constantly reminds me that there just aren’t as many people of color in my neighborhood as there are at the schools I’ve gone to or the internships I’ve been a part of. The lack of diversity is one of the reasons I plan on leaving the borough eventually.
(I also included this photo of my dog peeing on the welcome sign to my neighborhood because it sums up how most teenagers feel about Great Kills growing up.)
To begin with, my neighborhood is very diverse filled with different type of cultures. It would consist of Asians, Native Americans, Mexicans, Italians, Jewish, and Arabs. One of my favorite spots is this image above of a Mexican restaurant.
This image uses a couple of different fonts but the font that stands out the most is the Rosewood STD regular font. This font Rosewood is based on Serif, Slab Serif, and Clarendon typefaces. The Rosewood font catches the audience’s attention from its bicolor and its flamboyant details within the words. The italics and boldness of the font also helps catches the attention of customers. The owner of the restaurant added flag of Mexico to shows its culture and theme. Even though there are many other type of typography in my neighborhood, this restaurant shows its usage of their creative unique font to catch attention compared to others.
The neighborhood I live in, Astoria is very diverse and multicultural. It has become very popular with the millennial generation because of the various cultures present in the area. Astoria has people from many different parts of the world residing here. The different types of typography in the area also shows how diverse Astoria has become.
The diversity of Astoria can also be seen in the foods found in the area. Each culture has its own cuisine and it is a huge reason why so many people visit this neighborhood. Along with the food, Astoria also has a very energetic nightlife which is popular among the younger generation.
The typography seen around my neighborhood further displays diversity. An example of this is the graffiti shown in the photo. This shows how the artistic side of this neighborhood is displayed. The typography in the area also shows the different types of businesses example; laundromats, banks, deli’s, restaurants, liquor stores and groceries. I believe that the photos of the bank and real estate company show the business side of the neighborhood and also I believe the laundromats and barbershops show the small business side of the neighborhood. Finally the photos taken of street signs show how accessible my neighborhood is for drivers.
In my neighborhood, the typography of the street is very plentiful. Most of the store on the street are food and drinks. I took the photo of typography of the stores, notice board, and restaurants.
Most of the typography is in Sans-serif. The Picture of typography I choose is in San-serif. I choose this to represent for my neighborhood because it is in San-serif and that was my favorite store for buying drinks. the design of the sign is not monotonous as other stores, it looks like written by markers.
There are many businesses in East New york that use different types of typefaces to appeal to the people passing by their stores. The most frequent typeface that i saw was San Serif but the typography presented in the Duane reade sign above is very unique. The “Duane” in the Duane reade sign is bolded compared to the “reade” in the name. Duane also seems to have a Sans Serif typeface while reade has a serif typeface. I feel like the use of Sans Serif in this sign shows a very direct and serious tone of the store along with the black and white colors. Even though the “reade” in the sign isnt bolded the contrast of the “Duane” in the name being bolded mkes the sign very noticeable to me. Another thing that makes the sign noticeable is the straight black background, The store takes up the corner of the block so the black background goes all the way around.
There are many small businesses running down Nostrand Ave so I decided to stroll down that part of my neighborhood expecting to find many different types of fonts to capture. Strolling down the long Avenue I noticed that most businesses opted to use Sans Serif typefaces for their awnings, and I feel it’s due to it being very straightforward, clean, and legible. Some newer businesses tried out fancy and unique typefaces but sometimes fell short as they weren’t the most straightforward and sometimes just not legible at all. Another thing I noticed is that mostly beauty stores and hair salons generally chose script or curvy fonts to represent their business, maybe to seem more classy and fresh. As I approached near Brooklyn College in the junction, I saw that a lot of the businesses on a certain strip of the block had very big and bold, clear cut fonts, also pertaining to the Sans Serif family, and I feel it’s because they want to be immediately seen and understood; There’s a ton of stores and competition in the area, so being straightforward and to the point help people find what they need quickly, especially in such a high traffic area regardless of how potentially boring and even unappealing the fonts can be. My featured picture is of a childcare center; I found this to be the most creative and appealing font that conveyed their message. They’re fun and playful and are definitely aimed towards children, and I also thought it was cool that they put legs under the ‘2’ to convey the idea of ‘leaping to success’.
Utica Avenue is one of the most famous road(s) in East New York, with many Fast Foods and other business places with different varieties for all ages. Typography can be seen all around with all five types of family displayed and with a lot of different designs.
In the image above, it’s the logo for the White Caste restaurant and I chose the image because I like the the design of the logo. The type gives out a Old style and Century extended combination. The fonts are really unique and the spacing is not too much or too little, however in my opinion the letter C and a seems to be touching and a little bit of Kerning would make it just perfect. It is readable, however in some cases it could be difficult because some people might not be able to read it at night due to the fact there is not a lot of Bold letters. Overall this is a really nice logo.
In addition, on Utica Ave they have Nail salons, Gas stations and many more that display the five types of families in Typography, so if you’re ever in the neighborhood take some time, explore and enjoy type at it’s finest.