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Capturing the eternal beauty of Paris’ business signage

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hop signs that are more than signatures or representations: they are proud proclamations of leadership, or at least talent. They are tokens of the ingenuity, grace and elegance” says Pixalprinting on their ever-expanding portfolio of Europe’s immaculate signage. Almost two months ago, the company introduced to us the proud nobility of Milan’s business icons. This time they introduce us to the hidden stories on the shopfronts of Paris. “Born in 1986 in the south of Germany, I started my interest in photography with a trip to the Massai Mara in Kenya” says photographer Sebastian Erras who discovered the Paris in the letterforms of the city’s stylish past and present. “After my studies in International Marketing, I decided to fulfill my dream and become a fulltime photographer. Having always had a passion for design and architecture, I specialized in the field of interior and architecture photography. Working now for multiple clients all over Europe, I continue living my passion of photography, travel and exploring new things” he comments.

At first Erras invited us to check the art beneath our feet with Parisian Floors, a project dedicated to Paris’ beautiful mosaics. Now Erras, who moved to Paris five years ago, tells an alternative story of the city through its shopfronts. “Most of the time we walk by these stores and we might notice the front, but you never hear the history behind it” he says.
Collaborating on the project with the web to print company Pixartprinting, Erras has photographed the premises of puppet-makers, pâtissiers, chocolatiers and many others, each with a personal story attached reports The Guardian.

“I’m not interested in the multi-million companies with branches in every neighbourhood. I’m looking at the independent craftsmen still practicing their art” he says of a city so beautiful that travelers are often blinded by the glow of its tourist hot spots. “But if you dig below the surface, you will uncover another story of the city. A story made by the people who put art and creativity at the core of their everyday life. A look inside some of the Paris shop fronts, at the life going on behind them, will bring you closer to the vibrant pulse of the city.”

With bold and elegant letterforms retelling the story of a city so beautiful it hurts, the typography of Paris is the star of another project that speaks volumes. Last time we were amazed of it was when we got a copy of Graphique de la Rue, Fili’s newly published photographic diary of Paris’s signage.

If renowned celebrated graphic designer Louise Fili speaks highly of the city’s dazzling signage that captured her heart over 40 years ago at the age of 20, when she first laid eyes on the unique typography dotting the fronts of hotels, bakeries, and restaurants making the City of Lights a city to fall in love over and over again, the whimsical pictorial Parisian signage is something to adore.

Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Futurism are present in the city that was and remains an exquisite source of inspiration for designers and travelers alike. Take some time to delve into this world filled of letters par excellence.

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