Thursday, February 7, 2008

Photographing the Signs

by Alison of Fraske Designs

For as long as I can remember, I have been captivated by old signs. From simple hand painted window lettering to impressive neon signs and everything in between, there is something about an advertisement such as a storefront sign that has stood the test of time. My interest in and knowledge of signage increased after I graduated from college when I found myself working at a sign shop and learning all about the sign industry and how it has evolved over time, and signage has turned into one of my favorite things to photograph.

Once while I was researching car wash signs, I stumbled upon a picture of a car wash sign unlike any other… a huge pink elephant spraying itself with water and neon “Rancho Super Car Wash” letters. What a cool sign, and what a clever idea… an elephant advertising a car wash. Silly at first thought, but brilliant the more I considered it! From time to time, it would continue to pop up in my research, and it always put a smile on my face.

To my surprise and delight, a recent vacation brought me face to face with this sign! While visiting a friend in Palm Springs, CA, we were driving down one of the main roads, when suddenly this sign came into view. I was really excited to finally get a chance to photograph it. Here is one of the shots, and I am so happy to be able to add this to my collection!


  1. OMG, my husband just sent me that same image from Seattle. We saw it first years ago - more than I care to admit - when driving up the west coast. It's still one of my favorites.

    There are some great signs in Lowell: Do NOT miss the Owl Diner, and Hafner's (It kicks!) Gasoline.

  2. Oh my gosh, that's fantastic Alison. Well, I grew up in the Seattle-area, and I feel you really need to see this :)

    It's a Seattle institution...what's up with Seattle and cool roadside attractions ;)


  3. comment got cut off...well go to Google and type in Lincoln Toe Truck!

  4. i'll need to make it up to lowell!

    katy, that is toe-tally awesome!


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