Alphabet Road Trip | the blog of Iskra Design

Category: Signs I Like

Open But Not, In Blue


This pensive image from sculptor Ernest Hilsenberg could only really be blue don't you think? Between these two doors lies a saga of relationship. Framing a little shaken, trust battered then braced; decades of angry departures have shaken out the doorknobs. And yet still….. "open."

Bread in Bulgarian + Chestit Rozhden Den


This bread is 40 years old. And it still looks like bread. I love the sunny yellow disposition, the crusted rust, and the nice dimensionality of the toasted edges. Sent to me by the brilliant Bulgarian lettering artist and calligrapher Jordan Jelev, "The Label Maker."


And to complete the edible alphabets theme, here is the birthday cake make by Jordan's lovely wife Elitsa. Frosting is one of the hardest media to master. Like the floppy sign writing brushes of olde it has a mind of its own.

The Great Sea Wall of San Francisco and The Toy in Your Heart

At the very western edge of North America, where the last wagon, the last train, the last tricycle comes to its rolling stop before the Pacific Ocean is a place where a person might go to rest their head on concrete or read a book in the wind: The Great Highway. I spent an afternoon here a few years ago before it had been discovered as a writing surface. I sat with my back to the wall and my face turned to catch the rare heat of a spring sun and felt the anthems of immigrant America, of Pete Seeger, Walt Whitman, Jack Kerouac, and every stoned out hippie of the Pan Handle playing beneath the wind and the roar of cars and surf. Such a satisfying bleakness, so relentless, yet warm with the company of epic multitudes.

Today images arrived from another traveler to this place. The complete text of the wall says: "The paint on the walls is more important than the toy in your heart."

Is this true?

Photos by Aaron Zube, painter and architect, San Francisco.

Full text seawall0177

Farmacia Hope, With Lightbulb

HopeWithLightBulb ____________________________________________________________________________________
Here is a sign I could not resist from my recent two-week photo and art journey in Mexico. Given the healthcare debate going on in America and that Bartell's has just decided to stop filling Medicare prescriptions in my illustrious hometown of Seattle it's nice to think that you could go to the very small and very dusty ranchero village of El Tuito and still find some Esperanza in the Farmacia (it was a long long sign, so I cropped out the first word.) I especially like the attitude of friendship, humble yet eager, offered by the first E, the wind-up of the S, which tilts backwards as though just gathering strength to race forward, and the inimitable and ultra simple A's with the weight placed on the left rather than the right side rather as though that leg has been sprained and wrapped in extra bandages. Not to mention the diminutive 10 watt lightbulb. It takes very little illumination in Mexico to make the heart warm and the spirit lifted up.