Thursday, 12 December 2013

The shop signs of Valletta

My recent trip to Malta gave me the chance to explore Valletta again. I love the long straight vistas of the streets laid out by the knights of St John on a visionary grid pattern in the sixteenth century.



They ride the rise and fall of the land in severe straight lines, shaded from the sun, overhung with loggias and balconies. There’s a sense of expectation in the way the eye is led away towards the distant blue line of Mediterranean sea where the peninsula ends.



 
What really fascinated me was the old fashioned signage on shops and hotels – like being carried back into the sign writing of sixty or seventy years ago. A dusty memory of the British empire interspersed with Catholic shrines on street corners and small votive plaques above doorways. Here's a few of them:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 

6 comments:

  1. Lovely tour of Malta. We spent but a day there last fall and hope to return with far more time available to explore the past through its present!

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  2. Lovely. These signs are fascinating! Sign making has really gone a long way since then. I can’t imagine carving a store sign out of wood like the one in the first picture. I also liked the font choices then. It had a simplicity into it that makes it so endearing compared with the overly-flourished signs we have today.

    Justin Moydell

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  3. It must’ve felt like you've been transported back in time as you walk down this street. Not only are the shops’ signage, but everything in the atmosphere gives a throwback feel of its history. And speaking of shop signage, those kind of vintages might be pretty in their own old-fashioned way, but I don’t think they’ll stand out of flashing neon and LED signs which are a trend nowadays.

    Gaston Ballbe @ Signs Unlimited

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