American metal

March 8, 2010 / If you need something made out of metal, this company can help you.

[metal shop at night]
American Metal Crafters building. Enhance it!

Now that she can venture further afield, Genie and I pass this building on our evening walks. Perhaps dusk light is to ogling buildings as beer goggles are to ogling people. But there’s a lot to love about this building at any time of the day. It’s a place where they make a living out of making physical objects, for one. And the place is covered in these excellent signs as well.

[American Metal Crafters sign]
American Metal Crafters sign. Enhance it!

“American Metal Crafters • Metal Boxes • First Aid Cab. • Specialties.” Doesn’t matter what you need. They can make it, see? (“And the book itself is but a tissue of signs.”) Ah, yes. There’s so much signification going on in these signs. So much strength, simplicity and value. A semiotician’s dream.

[Shipping and Receiving sign]
Shipping and receiving. Enhance it!

Hey web designer, that’s not a drop shadow, this… You get the idea. To think of the effort that we collectively put into making things feel this way—textures in visual design, physicality in interface design, pre-worn jeans, mud on the SUV (huh?). Here it is all effortless, functional, un-reflexive. From a point in space and time when such things came naturally. And we are never going back.

So, I trust I’ve won you over. Great effin’ building.

2 responses

  1. kris

    ‘Here it is all effortless, functional, un-reflexive. From a point in space and time when such things came naturally.’

    They are elegant signs. But effortless and un-reflexive? Hmmm. Maybe, rather, time and loss gives all things the patina of authenticity?

    Saddest signs: the positions vacant boards on old factories that never have positions anymore. Imagine once leaving school, walking to the local factory. looking at the list of jobs and going in to apply. Can you imagine?

    Coolest and saddest building on my dog walk circuit: the old woollen mills that were once the major employers in town. They closed down and were later bought for a song by a charismatic church that now produces socially conservative candidates for the state elections; I’d prefer the place sticking to blankets.

    March 10th, 2010 at 6:43 pm #

  2. Adrian Cooke

    “Time and loss,” yes I think that’s what authenticity is—a view of the rightness of the present from the wrongness of the future. A place that makes woollen blankets sounds just as romantic to me. The church… not so much. I take your point!

    March 12th, 2010 at 9:31 pm #

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