Friday 29 January 2016

Spot on Signage

In the same way the Comic Sans font would be appropriate for a primary school exercise and highly inappropriate for an academic essay, when it comes to signage the same rule applies: yes for kiddies play areas, no for nearly every other type of business. 

Here I celebrate the businesses in our LT Destinations that have Spot on Signage. Respectfully not taking a pop at the poor signage by outing the outdated and shaming the shabby, I seek to inspire those who have been teetering on replacing their letters for the better. 


Jeweller fills last unit and brings added sparkle...
New owners of The Bold Hotel inherit an efficient business with #SpotonSignage...

But still decided to go a peg above...

It's all going well behind our closed doors :) We're so excited to be creating something amazing inside one of the most historic buildings in Southport... watch this space x
Posted by Bold Hotel on Wednesday, 20 January 2016


Newbie leads the way for resort's new era...
With a clear brand icon that you'll find high outside...

Low just inside...

and On Top of your frothy coffee...

A national chain anchors at South Bay...
With simplicity ruling at North Bay...

Quality operator with plans to bring 30 jobs...
Along with a quadruple whammy of inward investment for the former Tudno Castle Hotel...
Good to see Travelodge thinking globally but acting locally with its signage too...


The curly swirly H in transit...
Firmly in place at the plaice place...

The corporate biggies on the seafront from Starr Gate to Bispham are Blackpool's visitor impression makers or breakers. Join us as we celebrate those that are doing seafrontages exceedingly well.

Special mention must also go to The Tower for winning a regional planning award for restoring its stained glass arches in a spectacular manner. 

One of my new favourite blogs also took a look at the more humorous side of Blackpool's public typefaces in Blackpool's GR8 Signage, and they explore the resort's unashamed unorthodoxy further in Normal for Blackpool.  

A coastal prescription
It would be nice to have:

  • A curb appeal squad 
  • Local legislation to prohibit tacky signage
  • A promenade funding pot for independent operators with underpar signage to be able to at least get to on par status
  • A tighter grasp of what visitors and locals alike believe is missing from their resorts when it comes to national brands*  

*For those of you who find it strange that I am encouraging big companies to invest in our seaside resorts, it all ties in with upcoming projects regarding specialist shops which feed into and benefit from the honeypot effect of the well knowns. Yes, money from the corporates goes elsewhere, but they create jobs, pay quite often hefty business rates and advertise with local companies too. More importantly, they have prestigious, highly valued brands which they closely protect and showcase through spot on signage. They self-manage the quality, leaving us to focus on improving the quality of independents. 

I must also take this opportunity to draw your attention to an excellent report from the Centre for Entrepreneurs entitled From ebb to flow: how entrepreneurs can turn the tide for seaside towns, which features Hastings, Bournemouth, Scarborough, Littlehampton, Portrush, Blackpool and an interview focusing on Wayne Hemingway's part in Morecambe and Margate's regeneration. 

The entire 64 page document is a real page turner, but for me the standout quote is found a mere five pages in:

"Seaside towns will prosper because of individual imagination and initiative, not by top-down diktat. This is not to say that the state has no role to play in encouraging prosperity. But it is entrepreneurs who will lead the charge."

Luke Johnson, Chair - Centre for Entrepreneurs

We want you, we want you, we want you as our new quality signage recruit !

Things are looking up for shop, hotel and restaurant frontages in our Seaside Stays destinations. The shining lights of signage are wholly A-OK for their specific line of business and respectful to the building's history. Who knows, with a bit of luck soon it will not just be a case of keeping up with the Joneses, but the Ramsdenses, McDonaldses and Wetherspoonses too. 

Written by Tom Metcalf

Founder and Lead Consultant 

 Little Touches ®
Improving B&Bs, Guest Houses and Hotels

Reserve a Room now

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