Cast Iron Facades

There are certain architectural elements of historic commercial buildings that can cause a tremendous amount of excitement for downtown property owners, especially when uncovered while removing mid-twentieth century storefront upgrades. One of these, are ornate cast iron facades. A correlation between beauty and function, these iron facades began growing in popularity during the middle part of the nineteenth century. The image above is an 1854 Scientific American from my personal historic architecture library that placed an article on “Iron Houses” in a very prominent spot in the publication. Over a 150 years later, these iron facade elements continue to catch the attention of downtown pedestrian traffic, and contribute to a neighborhood’s unique sense of place.

If you have a historic building with an iron facade, connect with Storefont to learn about preservation strategies, and ways to develop a strong architectural brand for the space.

Woodblock Prints for the Home Workspace, and Home Classroom!

It’s been over a century since a pandemic of this scale has impacted Main Streets and communities across America. As we all adapt to this new normal of working from home, while also home schooling, Storefont is creating a series of special hand carved wood block prints to commemorate the time when business casual means wearing pajamas.

We hope these prints bring a smile to your face, and through your purchase of them, maybe bring a smile to the faces of others; as 25% of each sale will be donated to help those suffering from food insecurity.

Check out this Facebook Shop link to order!

We’re Just Your (Wood) Type

Through my research, I have found that downtown commercial districts historically relied on a variety of signage layers to market goods, services, and events. One often overlooked layer to these marketing strategies, was the use of wood type printed broadsides (what is frequently called posters today) and showcards. When Storefont was launched, the goal was to eventually provide wood type printed marketing materials for downtown businesses and neighborhoods. My goal became a reality this past autumn when a 120-year-old printing press with a history of downtown printing became available to purchase. The last few months, have been a whirlwind of heavy research, applied learning, and inky fingers. As a result, Storefont is now excited to share its new line of wood type printed posters for marketing live music, entertainment, and events in historic downtowns! Check out this link to our wood type printing page, and of course feel welcome to connect via phone, or email, to learn more.

The Future of Shopping Small

It’s exciting to share with our clients and friends the following white paper on the future of shopping small that was published by the organizers of Small Business Saturday: American Express. Some of the big take-a-ways line up with the work that Storefont is engaging in: to strengthen the sense of place that physical downtown environments and historic buildings provide, which contributes to the growing trends of experience-based consumerism. To add to the experience of your customers, connect with Storefont to learn about unique bespoke signage with recreated historic fonts, engaging environmental graphics, and architectural branding.

More than a Logo

Downtown branding is connected to space. As a result, your downtown building is a crucial element in how your business is perceived by potential customers. Think about it for a moment—if you have your choice between having drinks with friends at an establishment that has a rehabilitated storefront, or an establishment that has its storefront windows blocked in with plywood, which would you choose? It’s the same with retail—a business with painted creative signage that correlates with its building is likely going to draw more potential customers than one with a sagging mildewed vinyl banner.

As a growing number of customers seek unique spaces for experiential shopping and dining, architectural branding is a way to potentially stand out from your competition and engage customers. Signage is an economical way to connect your brand with your space, in addition to creating a flow between the exterior of your building and the interior. The more you impact those who visit your store with a positive experience, the more likely they are to personally refer your business to others, or return to spend additional time in your establishment. Learn more on how to develop your business, or downtown’s, architectural brand by connecting with Storefont for expert assistance.