Mid-Century roadside signs, especially for motels and restaurants, continue to inspire my Trader Joe's signage. I am greatly helped by the many amateur photographers and design enthusiasts who upload their photographs of remaining examples of this style to Flickr and other photo display sites. Here in the urban East, mid-century signs have been almost completely eradicated, except in the happy haven of "doo-wop" Wildwood on the Jersey shore. Someday I will make a pilgrimage there.
How did I get so enthralled with this style? Well, first of all I'm old enough to have lived with it when it was new and fresh. I loved the playful colors and chrome of 50s cars. I loved the fantasy architecture of the 1964 World's Fair. But more than that I loved what was then futuristic, whether it was the TV Jetsons or the comic book worlds of Krypton or space adventurer Adam Strange. I like this design so much better than the "grunge," zombie, goth, and hard-edged stuff which dominates the popular graphics world nowadays.
I would like to know, if any one of you out there plays video games, is there a game which is not horrifically violent, brutal, and morally ambiguous? Is there a fully rendered videogame which is not just an arcade rack-up-points game or pixel puzzle, but another world full of things which are uplifting, harmless, beautiful, but at the same time fascinating? Where you don't have to kill anyone? Just a question. Now back to frozen vegetables.