Henry Grabar

Check out the unusual typography all around you.

Old signs are indisputably one of the pleasant surprises of urban life. The streets of San Francisco's Tenderloin, for example, have an incredible concentration of old hotel signs that turn an otherwise unremarkable urban streetscape into a spectacle.

But beautiful signs can pop up anywhere from small towns to the busiest streets in the biggest cities. With Fontly, a free app designed to geo-tag examples of unusual typography, you can start exploring the world of vintage signage around you.

Check out the global map here and download the app to start contributing.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Equity

    Capturing Black Bottom, a Detroit Neighborhood Lost to Urban Renewal

    “Black Bottom Street View,” now exhibiting at the Detroit Public Library, thoughtfully displays old images of the historic African American neighborhood in its final days.

  2. Transportation

    You Can’t Design Bike-Friendly Cities Without Considering Race and Class

    Bike equity is a powerful tool for reducing inequality. Too often, cycling infrastructure is tailored only to wealthy white cyclists.

  3. Design

    A History of the American Public Library

    A visual exploration of how a critical piece of social infrastructure came to be.

  4. Equity

    The FBI's Forgotten War on Black-Owned Bookstores

    At the height of the Black Power movement, the Bureau focused on the unlikeliest of public enemies: black independent booksellers.

  5. A photo of a new car dealership
    Transportation

    Subprime Auto Loans Are Turning Car Ownership Into a Trap

    A record 7 million Americans are three months late on their car payments, revealing what could be cracks in the U.S. economy.