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Old shop signs

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i often found these signs (i don't know the word/name for it exactly). They show the kind of work, done in the house. Some are more than 300 years old. (Pharmacy -> Mortar, scale)








Thanks for your help, which Cat is the best for it?



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Around here many restaurants have these as well. I have also thought about this as a category, but maybe in some places there are too many of them.


And they are not necessarily medieval: Your second example has the date 1903 at the bottom, but the logo used in the center was not introduced before 1948, I even think it is the revised shape of 1972.

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I've got it. They are called "Zunftzeichen" http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zunftzeichen


"Seit dem Mittelalter haben Zunftzeichen dafür gesorgt, dass auch Analphabeten jene Geschäfte und Handwerker finden würden, die sie suchten. Auf gewisse Weise waren Zunftschilder damit die Vorfahren der modernen Werbeschilder und -poster." http://www.visit-salzburg.net/deutsch/fotos/salzburg-zunftzeichen-9.htm




Since the Middle Ages guild marks have ensured that even illiterate people would find those businesses and artisans, they were seeking. In a way, guild signs were that the ancestors of modern advertising signs and posters.


The typ of signs is called "Nasenschild" http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nasenschild


"The nose sign is a traditional form of advertising. This is an advertising sign which is anchored perpendicular to the wall of a restaurant or a business and as a nose sticking out of the face from the house into the street. It is considered particularly suitable for passersby to call attention to a business.


In German-speaking area nose signs were often made by blacksmiths with considerable ambition of iron. On the advertised trade or the offer of a businessman with no text, but with symbols - for example, guild signs - seeking attention.


Taverns with traditional names such as "The Deer", "The Bear" or "Zur Post" did also make a visual representation of their name.


Also still in the period in which modern enamel signs were nose signs still used as an advertising medium." wikipedia


Some examples:












I'm falling in love with these sings... :laughing:

Edited by lumbricus
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Today i've been in Salzburg, Austria to collect pictures what we will accept and what not:


We are looking for the following style:












We will not accept signs like the following examples:










What do you think?


Regards, lumbricus

Edited by lumbricus
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I like this idea and have seen similar signs in the past.


I agree that it may be difficult to come up with a definition of what's acceptable and what's not but the Artistic Welcome Signs category copes with the same problem.


One approach may be that all parts of the sign should have an artistic element. In the examples lumbricus has shown this rule would exclude, Mango, Geox, Thomas Sabo and the sign with only multi-block colour. It should however let through the McDonald's sign as Lumbricus wants. Although the Mcdonald's famous 'M' may not normally be considered artistic in this case it only forms a small part of the sign and is surrounded by the artistic wreath.


The only other small problem I can see is that some shops have a painted board suspended from an ornate metal arm. These can be interesting and artistic and I would find them acceptable. However lumbricus may want to restrict this type of sign and concentrate on metal ones.


In the UK the painted type of board sign is usually restricted to pub signs which already as a category, but I have seen ordinary shops with signs of this type.


My only other thought is that because any accepted signs may be modern that the category could be called something like Artistic Shop Signs rather than Old Shop Signs.

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"Is it artificial?" You mean "artistic"?


"Is there a typical symbol for the shop on the sign?" I am not sure if this is necessary. What else could be on the sign? What would be an untypical symbol, and why would it not be accepted?


(This is a nitpick one, but I just noticed your naming convention is very unusual; I mean the order "town, country, state". Almost everyone would expect "town, state, country".)

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Of corse it's 'atistic' instead of 'artifical'! Thanks for reading carefully!


Is there a typical symbol for the shop on the sign?

--> This means there has to be a symbol on the sign. Not just lettering and some artwork (which would be unique and artistic, too). There must be a symbol for the name or the kind of the shop.

i.e. an eagle for a restaurant called 'Golden Eagle' or an umbrella for an umbrella store.

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Changed the naming requirement to

Name of the Shop – town, state, country



Golden Eagle – New York, NY, USA

Hair Cutter Myer – Frankfurt, HE, Germany

Olik’s Butcher Shop – Prague, Czech Republic


category variables:

Shop Name -- Name of the shop in original language (i.e. Metzgerei Pfefferle, Golden Eagle, ...) - must

Kind of Shop -- What kind of shop is it? (i.e. restaurant, book store, hair cutter, ...) - must

Adress -- physical adress of the shop - must

Web Adress of the Shop -- web adress of the shop - optional

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We are now in the peer review.




"Nay - Prevalence - All of the examples look like they were taken by walking down the same street. In Saltzburg? Where else would you find "acceptable" signs?"


Yesterday i have been in Simbach am Inn, 55km away from Salzburg.

I found there three signs while driving through:








40km away i found this one. I was not searching, only driving home after work.




Regards, lumbricus

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Hi, I am wondering if the sign depicted in the photo attached would qualify. I've seen at least one other bakery using an identical sign. I'm guessing that bakeries having obtained the destinction "artisan boulanger" have the option of acquiring one of these for their establishement. They are definately not used by all "artisans boulanger".


Thanks to let me know if it qualifies.




Sorry, I just realized I don't know how to upload a photo to this forum. Can you give me some help?

Edited by RakeInTheCache
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Sorry, I just realized I don't know how to upload a photo to this forum. Can you give me some help?

There is no direct way to upload pictures to the forum. The picture has to be available online before. Easiest way is to create a new waymark you will never publish. Upload your pictures to its gallery. Use the link to the picture for the forum.

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