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Soda Signs

On convenience stores, bars, cafes, and laundromats, it's easy to find little capsules of graphic design. The plastic soda sign is obviously not as popular as it once was, but they're easy to find in neighborhoods that aren't being overrun with new condo construction. Older versions can be found too, some hand-painted right on brick, others mass-produced on steel and nailed up.

It's no challenge to find a Coca-Cola sign, nor is it normally particuarly interesting to do so. I've seen little variation on the Coke logo, and it's basically the same logo we see today. It's no challenge to find a 7-Up sign, but it's easy to see decades of change with 7-Up: from cocktail parties, to acid trips, to disco. The 7-Up Acid Trip logo is my favorite, by far -- so much so, that I once drove to Indianapolis for a $15 7-Up machine.

My favorite finds are the rarities, like a Diet-Rite sign in a tiny town, a Bubble-Up sign in a similar setting, and a long-closed store's 7-Up pushbar, which I never would have seen if the wind happened to have blown that screen door open. Some brands you might expect to be much rarer than they are -- I've found four spots with Clicquot Club signs in Minneapolis-St Paul, which seems a lot considering the brand seems to have disappeard by 1970. Dad's Root Beer makes a surprising showing as well.

Signs are organized by brand. Click on a thumbnail to view a larger image. Once viewing a large image, you can click on the image to continue through the gallery, or click the ! to return here.

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