Advertisement
Continue to Site »

site_header_zone


 
Trending
Sipho Mabona Transforms Tropenmuseum With Origami
As the saying goes, inspiration can strike anywhere, anytime. We ...
City Museum Debates the History and Future of Supertall Buildings
  In conjunction with its exhibit "Palaces for the People: ...
Herman Miller Agrees to Acquire Design Within Reach
Sayigh + Duman’s Design Within Reach flagship in New York. ...
MoMA Names Martino Stierli Chief Curator of Architecture and Design
Earlier this week, The Museum of the Modern Art announced ...
Take a Fresh Look at Creating Unique Interior Experiences With New Perspectives
Sponsored Content by Milliken The desire to create new experiences ...

JOB ZONE

jobseekers:

employers:

 
Weekly Poll
Where has your firm seen the biggest growth in the first half of 2014?

    industry_article_detail_left_zone

    American Sign Museum Worships Design Doctrine

    Photo by Sara Pepitone.

    Tod Swormstedt opened the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati just last year, installing 42,000 cataloged items across a 40,000-square-foot former factory that produced parachutes during WWII. The project sports 28-foot ceilings and a working neon shop, Neonworks.

    Swormstedt calls the museum a “crazy” idea he’d been dreaming about for decades, recalling that, “From an architectural standpoint, for a long time no one was really interested in signs.” He should know. From 1975 to 1999, the Cincinnati native worked in both editorial and publishing at Signs of the Times, a trade magazine on the subject established by his great grandfather in 1906.

    Photo by Sara Pepitone.

    After retiring, Swormstedt focused on the problem solving that’s at the heart of successful sign design. “Historically, architects viewed signs as a blight on buildings,” says Swormstedt. That changed in part due to the discourse by architects Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Steven Izenour, who believed the tastes and habits of the masses living and working in and around any given building should be considered in architecture and design.

    “These architects really believed in signs,” says Swormstedt. “One of my heroes, Izenour, helped people see they could be incorporated into buildings, compatible with buildings. And sign design grew up to be a profession.”

    A window into the working neon shop. Photo by Sara Pepitone.

    Swormstedt’s collection of signs, tools and the equipment used to make them includes 600 actual signs, including his favorite 25 spanning from the light bulb period to neon and plastic. His enthusiasm is infectious, and who among us can resist a glowing, lighted look into our past?

    industry_article_detail_central_zone