The First Pawn Stars: The Medici Family and Their Secret Sign

The First Pawn Stars

Symbols can be powerful signs that speak volumes without using words. You might pass a symbol-sign every day for years without knowing what it means. But for those who do know, the symbol identifies an institution that offers needed services. On the outside of many pawn shops, you’ll find a symbol. A secret symbol that dates back to fifteenth century Florence. A symbol with a shady past. Read More

20 Fun Facts About the Hollywood Sign


When you think of Hollywood, you might think of Humphrey Bogart gazing into Ingrid Bergman’s eyes in Casablanca. You might imagine Cary Grant tooling around the foothills in his 1929 Caddy, or Marilyn Monroe with her pouty lips and swirling white skirt in Some Like it Hot. Or maybe you think of the modern Hollywood, with starlets toting around miniature canines in expensive handbags and reality TV stars giving interviews on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

No matter what comes to mind, the Hollywood sign stands sentinel over all of it, an icon that stands for the glamour, optimism and grandeur that has defined Hollywood since its creation. Just for fun, here are 20 facts you might not know about the Hollywood sign. Read More

Signage as Art: The Mosaics of the NYC Subway

Mosaics of the NYC Subway

Though signage can certainly be artistic, we don’t often think of it as true “art. New York City is a great place to find millions of signs, many of them true works of art and technology. But to find some of the most beautiful signs, those that combine art and function and also speak of a rich, storied history, visitors go underground to the subway.

When the New York City subway system opened on October 27, 1904, each station was delineated with a mosaic-tile identification sign. Creators George C. Heins and Christopher Grant LaFarge thought that the ceramic tile signage would be long-lasting and easy to keep clean. Which they obviously were: they still grace each subway stop, more than 100 years later. Read More

Times Square Signage Through the Years

History of Signage in Times Square

When you think of the bright lights of New York City, chances are that you’re thinking about Times Square. The most popular tourist destination in the city, Times Square has 39 million visitors every year. The famous, brightly lit signage gives the square its personality and has helped make Times Square a New York icon. It’s always been a place for signage; but the signs have evolved over time to capitalize on the latest technology. Read More

Is Your Sign Vintage or Just Old? 5 Ways to Tell


Retail Insights with Harper Grey

Oooh I just love vintage stuff. Maybe I’m just a sucker for nostalgia, but I love everything about vintage (real or just copycat). Shows like Mad Men have many of us wishing for the “good old days.” Not that they were really that great. I mean really, do we want to go back to the time period when everyone smoked a pack a day and women were expected to land a good husband and quit her secretarial job so they could move to the suburbs, have babies and rely financially on men? But you have to admit, some of those vintage signs were pretty darn awesome. Read More