Thursday, March 01, 2007

Whittier Area Commerce Building

Whittier Area Commerce Building, Whittier, CA.

As a graphic designer, I find myself not only enthralled by Googie's and Mid-Century Modern's architectural forms, but also the typographical particularities of the age. I usually find a combination of these two great design elements only in neon signage, so it was a treat to finally take notice of this building, sitting on Whittier Blvd. as it likely has for decades. Geometric and decidedly Modern, the building is livened considerably by the typography which describes the building's purpose. The tracking, the kerning, the mish-mash of uppercase and lowercase letters-- it's enough to even get the most jaded and cynical of designers to smile a little!

Maybe this isn't the best example of lettering from the era, but with months of studying Googie, it's easy to wonder where the joy of gimmicky typography went, and why we don't live in a world where the "Googie's" logo for which this whole architectural movement is named isn't functional today, in a design sense. It's kitsch, it's retro, it's almost pandering, but Googie typography is fun and carefree. I hope fun typography will make a comeback someday.

Whittier Area Commerce Building
13601 Whittier Blvd
Whittier, CA 90605


Eric said...

What a great find! I also adore this. A "commerce" building-- gotta love that. the typography is divine. thx for the photo.

tonypetersart said...

I love this stuff! Thank you so much for posting. It's so hard to find what's left of googie architecture.


Victor Stapf said...

This building is more mid-century modern rather than googie, but it still cool.

boldorion said...

The building was built around 1966.