Vintage advertising has taken many forms over the years. Detailed illustrations and graceful letters can be found on old packaged goods, such as decorative tin cans; clothing items; corporate logos from companies formed in the late 1800’s; and large-sized wall signs found on the sides of various buildings constructed at the turn of the century.
Detroit is an old city and has plenty of 100-year-old buildings that line its commercial streets. Over the years, countless numbers of classic promotional signs have been hand painted on the sides of them, and many of those timeless signs still remain.
In past blog entries on this continuing series of faded wall signs of Detroit, I’ve posted many photos of the vintage signs found on the sides of buildings. Unfortunately, some of them have been lost. A few of the buildings they were on have been torn down, and some remaining lighter, faded ones have become unreadable on the brick walls and are now barely visible.
There are still plenty of classic signs that have survived the years of harsh weather, although many are shadows of their former selves. Several of them can be spotted on buildings found in the city’s older neighborhoods, especially those close to the Detroit River. Others can be seen along the city’s main roads that begin downtown and fan out in a spoke pattern. Those particular ones can be a little harder to spot because of the closeness of the adjoining buildings.
Looking closely at the old beauties, it’s easy to make out stylish hand painted illustrations, and free-flowing letter fonts that are easy on the eye. It surprising how complex some of the old hand painted signs were.
Here are few more photos of the fading signs I’ve seen on my bicycle rides in Detroit.
Below are links to the previous entries on this ongoing series on the Faded Wall Signs of Detroit.