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signs . Lena, MS No.1

A recent stop in my observation of Small Pond, Mississippi was the town of Lena along Highway 31 South. You can read more of my thoughts on that particular winding road over at EyeJunkie, but as I noted recently, it facilitated me adding a few more photographs to my collection documenting hand-painted signs.

Downtown Lena, Mississippi didn’t have much of a Main Street to speak of, although you can see it wasn’t immune to the glossy red, white and blue political “yard sign”. Plus, you have to love the RCA dog and phonograph logo still in use. It takes me back. What made me pull over, however, was the City Hall slash Public Library building. I’ve seen countless mom-and-pop eateries and sale announcements boasting hand-crafted signs, lovingly created to communicate someone’s personal passion. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen a hand-painted City Hall sign. Lena, Mississippi was a first.

Rather than the typical etched-in-stone serifs, this City Hall boasted hand-painted letters. And, while the overhang-free architecture and concrete grounds didn’t exactly speak “antebellum South” like many public buildings do around here, I was smitten by the pride of place I imagine produced this signage.

The designer definitely took the minimalist approach. And yes, the kerning is a little off. But, there is something inspiring about considering a group of people (maybe only a couple of hundred) who determine to be a township in such a tactile way. What may be lacking in typographic consistency is more than surpassed by the sheer singular voice: “We are Lena, Mississippi.”

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