Give Me an A!
Edited by Annie Block, Mark McMenamin, and Meghan Edwards -- Interior Design, 6/1/2009 12:00:00 AM
When companies change logos and dismantle outmoded signs, castoffs are typically consigned to the graphic graveyard. Unless, that is, designer Aleksi Hautamäki gets to them first: He and Finnish retailer Armas Design have launched Character, a company committed to rescuing abandoned letters and granting them second life in the decorative realm.
Hautamäki seals deals with sign producers, then scavenges their salvage for "letters that have character," he says. Often decades old, the letters are dismantled and cleaned, new transformers are inserted, and neon tubes are replaced by LEDs, which provide 30,000 hours of light. Once power cords are added, the letters are ready to become mood lighting, office sculpture, home decor, even garden art—since most come from signs that used to grace building facades, nearly all are waterproof. The ever changing spoils cover a range of styles, colors, and heights. Prices start at approximately $200.