To help neighborhood businesses rise above the five-foot tide mark and other devastation left by Hurricane Sandy’s waters, we designed improvements to more than forty New York City storefronts in the past few months. The designs reflect the diverse nature of six commercial strips in four boroughs–-from the Rockaways in Queens, to Red Hook in Brooklyn, to South Street Seaport in Manhattan and Staten Island’s Midland.
The participants were selected as part of a grant program administrated by the NYC Business Assistance Corporation and Department of Small Business Services in anticipation of the one-year anniversary of the storm. The program was a unique opportunity to address the impact of the storm, but also to assist many of the businesses with creating a new image for themselves and their communities.
Many of the participants include types of businesses that make up any vibrant neighborhood, from a butcher shop, a bakery, a soap shop, barber shops, hair salons, restaurants, and a yoga studio, with numerous neighborhood restaurants and coffee shops. In some cases, though, tbeir identity had been obscured by either too much signage or unclear signage. Through a combination of new custom graphics and logos, material selection and other upgrades, our designs focus on boosting the brand of each business and in turn the retail strip.
Even when designing storefronts for groups of facades with a single ownership, we gave each business a unique font and identity sometimes a change in texture or pattern for the sign band, so they would each stand out while working together.
We appreciate having the experience of getting to know so many small business owners in neighborhoods throughout New York City and having the chance to work with them in expressing the vitality of their business through their storefront facades.