The Flamingo

The flamingo is a wonderfully flambouyent piece of lettering and window artwork - the orginal even has illustrations of flamingos on the surrounding windows. A great choice for a beach environment, the letters feel as though they were drawn quickly and casually by a marker. The intro word is set…

View Arms

The original on the window was a bit damaged, so I had to really do a double take at the name of this building. I'm not really sure what "view arms" are. The lettering is quite beautiful with large florishes on the capital letters and heavy, dramatic drop shadows to…

Ocean Villa

Ocean Villa screams late 60's/early 70's to me. Its psychedelic, bell-bottom like flowing forms speak of lazy days of love on the beach. The original piece, painted on the window is unique in the fact that the usual black background has been replaced with a dark blue. It also…

Westwind

The Westwind is a flowing script with an appropriate wave in the bar of the 't' that adds to its appearance of the word blowing in the wind. The letters are pretty traditional except for the script transition of the 's', which comes up, stops abruptly and swoops across the…

The Wendalin

The Wendalin is in South Granville, but the style of the lettering seems to fit a more beach-like atmosphere. The wavey line brings up imagery of the sea and the tittle of the "i" is in the shape of a fish. This piece of lettering is unique from most of…

Ocean Crest Manor

Ocean Crest Manor is a wonderful example of a casual script, which really suits the beach-y feel of the neighbourhood. The 'r' has a particularly interesting shape with its wiggly termination and even though there isn't a connector between every letter, the 'e' and the 's' are joined very smoothly.…

Royal Anna Court

This is one of my favourite examples of apartment lettering. The sharp edges and angled curves of the script make it look like it was written quickly with a marker. The connection of the 'o' is especially angular. The letters do vary in weight slightly with the 'R' carrying the…

The Cumberland

There are not many hand-painted serifs around town, but the cumberland is one of the more funky ones. The first letter seems to have a bit of and identity crisis about whether it is a script or serif. The width is also quite variable between narrow and wide throughout the…

Pine Tree Court

This is one of the more unique signs in the neigbourhood mainly because it's a serif instead of the usual script. The "Pi" ligature is perhaps the most interesting part as the "P" comes right around and forms the dot of the "i" right inside the bowl. The large, exagerated…

Sutherland Place

Sutherland Place is right on the edge of what I still consider South Granville. This particular 3 or 4 block radius has a very eclectic mix of funky lettering. The variation in contrast and size of the letterforms definitely makes it feel kind of bouncy but I think the swooping…

Braemar

The Braemar immediatly conjures visions of football players and cheerleaders wearing college sports team sweaters. The straight, slabby serif is a welcome break from the scripts, serifs, and blackletters. Even with it's near perfectly straight construction, the serifs do tend to vary quite a bit – A benefit of hand-lettering. This…

Queen Anne Place

This dull concrete building is endowed with some of the most beautifully done lettering in the neighbourhood. The craft of the painting and guilding is very high quality and the letter shapes retain a number of imperfections that give it that hand-drawn character. The Queen Anne starts with a beautifully…

Wynne Manor

I was particularly attracted to Wynne Manor because of its upright emphasis and nearly straight decender in the lowercase 'y' character. I also enjoyed the blunt angle on the 'n' communicates the quick change in direction that a brush would have made when creating the letter. Unlike all the other…

The Unique

While not incredibly unique, this one certainly does have its quirks. The 'n' is the first letter that stands out as being a bit odd. The shape of the letter doesn't seem to quite match up with the flow of a pen. The connectors reach the next letter quite high…

The Aberdare

The Aberdare is a flowing script with well matched numbers and a small bit of sans serif. The split shading is a huge feature of these letters. This type of shading seems to be created by the guilding process. The highlighting could have been created by painting on a clear…

Gauntlett Manor

Gauntlett manor is a combination of a script and a serif. The script is a fairly simple one except for the flourishes on the first letter. The serif has some interesting choices in the shapes of its letters. The apex of the 'A' seems very high. Type designers and lettering…

Marion's Manor

Marion's Manor starts out with a wonderfully steep angle, and slowly becomes more upright by the end of the second word. This is a beautiful example of how handlettering can get funky (especially when sitting on a ladder and writing it backwards on the inside of a window). The 'M's…

The Rembrandt

This building, named after the 17th century painter, appropriately uses letterforms modeled after typography from the same period. This blackletter is quite balanced and graceful. The letters have a vertical emphasis and moderate contrast. The way the 'R' is constructed through the use of negative space is beautiful. 1560 West…

Margaret Rose

Letterforms are often modeled after the shapes made by constructing letters with certain tools. In the case of the Margaret Rose, the letterforms are most likely derived from carved or chiseled letterforms. The most interesting part of this serif is the high crossbars. The 'R' is also intriguing due to…

The Sussex

Blackletters are one of the more popular options for the front of South Granville buildings. This version has a very high stroke contrast. Also, the uppercase 'S' leans backward quite a bit, which makes the whole word feel wider. 1556 West 13th Ave…

Mount Royal

These letters and numerals demand attention with their dramatic details and quirky proportions. Born out of the theatre districts of the “roaring 20s” these letters stand out from the sea of blackletters, classic serifs, and scripts of the neighbourhood, making it an interesting and somewhat unique choice for the front…

Contribute!

There are many great buildings with interesting lettering in both in Vancouver and other cities around the world. I have decided to open the project up to outside contributors. I am looking for lettering that was hand-painted or guilded onto the glass, wood, or concrete (no vinyl please, unless it's…