Week 4: Literature Review

Resources

Again, this week I found it incredibly hard to engage. although I did reach out to Fraser Muggeridge of Typography Summer School. So far, I have heard nothing back.

Hoe Street

After last week’s look at a project at the St James Street end of the High Street, I’m going to take a look at a different one. The project is juxtaposed in outcome to another project on Hoe Street that adjoins the High Street’s eastern end, also commissioned by Waltham Forest Council. The agency Fieldwork Facility undertook work to collaborate with ten locally-orientated businesses to “understand their needs and see how shopfront improvements can increase opportunities for business” (Fieldworkfacility.com, n.d.). The Hoe Street project had similar aims to the St James Street project, in that they both “decluttered years of redundant signage giving the streetscape room to breathe and making Hoe Street a more inviting place” (ibid.). The agency advertises that more detailed case studies are available upon request, but the report has proceeded without the extra content after multiple attempts to contact them.

Fieldwork Facility describes their process as one to “smarten appearances and celebrate independent businesses for their idiosyncrasies” and as can be seen above, the results are joyfully independent and preserve the businesses’ identities (ibid.) For the Moonlight supermarket, they “celebrated the family ownership with Turkish patterns incorporating ‘moon phases’ and moonlight colours” with the typeface using circular ‘o’s also evoking the moon image (ibid.). The result is eye-catching, sensitive to the owners’ heritages and fits in with the other shops around it.

The new frontage for Ashlins Natural Health is particularly impressive, because it is backlit with LEDs that change in relation to the outside temperature and ensures that it fits in with the new slick estate agents on its stretch of the street.

For The Office of Bodyart Tattooing, Fieldwork Facility honed in on the business owner, Terry, who is one of the first ever foreigners to be granted membership to the Tattoo Club of Japan. To honour his achievement, his logo was redesigned to be a rising sun made of needles and ink drops. The street signage is in English and Japanese to celebrate Terry’s no-nonsense attitude and tone of speech in all communications.

The two projects, located at either end of the High Street, had similar aims of improving the areas’ images and helping businesses and differed in their approach. The St James Street project focussed on resurrecting a rosy view of the past compared to Hoe Street, which achieved its goals by concentrating on the individual businesses and their value to the community.

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