Ah, British Holidays! As well as all the usual distractions there is always the strong hypnotic pull of the typographic views of every region…

I spend a very relaxing fortnight in North devon this year and managed to keep my typo-radar switched on.  There is nothing quite like the south west of England in its optimism that tourists will spend good money on dubious diversions when the weather is not so good:


I also can’t help but feel a little puzzled why it was decided to disguise these warning buoys as Teletubbies: (if you can’t see LaLa, click the image…)


We did get is a little culture at Broomhill Sculpture Gardens near Barnstaple. Amongst the wide variety of exhibits was this cone made entirely from recycled traffic signs:


And a little laboured fake graffiti too…


We were actually staying at a place that had great views over the Torridge estuary and had an ever-changing panorama of maritime traffic through our windows. On the whole, I was thoroughly disappointed by the typography on boats and ships. The majority was black or white Helvetica Bold, sometimes painted but mostly adhesive vinyl. Alas.


There were one or two that caught my eye; this one in Padstow harbour right at the far side which explains the quality of the photograph.


But I passed this fine specimen each day moored at the quayside at Appledore:


And no visit to the seaside would be complete without our finest volunteer service the Royal National Lifeboat Institute, who do an exceptionally valuable and dangerous job for NO PAY. Please donate generously.


We also visited Westward Ho! which is the only town in the UK with an exclamation mark in it’s name. The town is named after the 1855 novel by Charles Kingsley.


And what of the usual tourist tat souvenirs? There were plenty on offer:


As well as the usual diversions:


From this lowly example to a more traditional seaside application on the door light of a guest house in gold and black:


This boutique in Padstow had its sign painted  directly onto the wall above the door:


And the local ice cream van was traditionally decorated (but with vinyl again!) but that doesn’t matter when the ice cream is that good!


It somehow seems undignified to point this one out. Poor old Saint Mary…


This was one of three different signs that this hotel had had erected over the years. I never did notice whether it was still illuminated at night…


And I passed this old boat shed everyday and often wondered what if old Henry himself had gone into boats instead of cars?

LINKS
North Devon Tourism
Westward Ho!
Appledore
Broomhill Sculpture Gardens
Royal National Lifeboat Institute
Barometer World

Do you live by the sea? What’s in your neighbourhood?

I am putting out a request for contributors for the “my type of… place” section of this blog and would like you to put together your own typographic tour. If you are interested, download the contributors information sheet for more details, ideas and specifications here.

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