I love this sign because of it’s minimalism. The sign is tiny and unimposing to begin with, and the subtle black border and pole really make it feel like part of the town instead of an eye sore. It’s simple, to the point, and elegant. The type face is conservative, yet the use of size and capitalization makes it pop. I don’t like the small gold addition on the bottom though. I think it pulls too much attention from the rest of the sign. Also, the font used for Fredericksburg on the bottom is pretty hard to read, especially if you’re viewing it from a vehicle.
I like parts of the Carl’s sign as an example of form function and message. First, I love the old school sign underneath with the green back-lighting. I think it gives a really authentic vibe, but again, the cursive is a bit daunting from the road at 25 mph. It also looks like the sign on top was added in later, and makes the first sign a bit redundant. Also, the two signs don’t match well and the whole space seems a bit cluttered. Here we see the sign saying “shakes” two different times right on top of each other. I would have liked the sign on top to have just said Carl’s with the big ice cream cone, and the sign on the bottom to have a different color back-lighting that juxtaposed the lettering better, and been more cohesive with the sign on top (maybe the back-lighting could be the pinkish red of the ice cream cone’s cone). I think Carl’s is fine in cursive, because it’s a short word and it’s huge. Simple. Punchy. Branded. I also like the ice cream cone because it tells you exactly what you’re getting in a simple, viewer friendly manner.
“COOL RICKS DRUGSR” is what I see when I read this iconic Fredericksburg sign during the day from a close proximity. The sign is definitely iconic, and it looks great at night and from a distance, but it fails a bit during the day and up close. I think if the typography had been inlaid into the background instead of the lighted letters sticking out, it would have been way more appropriate for ground level and day time viewing. I think this sort of lettering works great for huge signs really high up, but is poorly utilized here, because the sign is only awesome in certain conditions. I also don’t like the jut at the bottom where the Rx is supposed to be, seems like it was added on as an afterthought and show poor planning. I also think the typeface should have varied a bit more between the DRUGS and Rx, it seems like just a smaller version of the same font. Honestly, for minimalism’s sake, does it even need to be there? The sign already says drugs.
This sign has a lot of positives. It’s simple, the form is stunning, it delivers the message well, the use of space is interesting, there’s good use of texture on the star and it’s base, what more could you want? I want to say it’s a bit bland in the color scheme, but it’s a stone sign, I don’t know how you would realistically make those colors pop more without it looking out of place.