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LOCATION

Seattle
New York
San Francisco

3131 Western Ave
Suite 510
Seattle, WA   98121

t 206.674.7808
f 206.674.7909
info@girvin.com

360 Riverside Drive
Suite 7D
New York, NY   10025

t 212.924.7331
f 212.924.7310
williams@girvin.com


t 206.674.7864
m 925.212.0140
f 206.674.7909
mack@girvin.com

GIRVIN | Strategic Branding & Design | Seattle

GIRVIN | Strategic Branding & Design | New York

“The

There is the sign,
which is a way
a tool to explain process and direction,
to instruct,
to mark,
to place:
made.

The Ace Hotel, Expressed Metal Plate
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But to the notion of place-making, how that sign is made, gesture or stone, or cut metal, wood can tell a layering of story — hand, digital, projected — holistically, a sign can be more — every detail, an attribute of telling. Hand, digital, scribed, painted, cut, applied, nailed on, illuminated or bolted?

What we look for is the link to material, message, context and placement to align story and experience to tiering and understanding.

Country roadside signage,
tagged paper application:
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The sign is just that.
A sign.
A sign might be a word,
or a mark, or an object,
but it inherently is
a storytelling of place, made.

Eastern european,
sculptural message:
“The

I look for signs.
Literally — a momentary rendering of
a sign to a place
[of mind, of geolocation, of an idea.]

A sign:
A salt blessing | Osaka Saké Brewery
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Or a mark, a symbol,
a touch, a sigil,
a form of statement.

Entry signage, Reykjavik, Iceland
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Signs are everywhere
if you know where to look.

As students of the sign, it’s not just about way finding, directional signing or restaurant and retail shopfronts, but signs, symbols that have a telling to make that aren’t, alone, merely letters on a placard.

And what we look for:
• meaning
• materiality
• placement
• context
• unforgettability

A GALLERY OF SIGNING
SYMBOLOGY
FROM ONE YEAR
OF STUDY:

GIRVIN HELVET-ICON:
“The

A Pin Sign at
Biscuit Bitch
“The

The Alchemical Signing,
Printed on Handmade Paper
and Hung, University District, Seattle:
“The

Retail Signing,
Whole Foods:
“The

Street Signage, Bend, OR:
“The

Totaro Retail Icon:
“The

Applied
Street Signage, NY:
“The

Wall Signing,
Corrected, Seattle:
“The

Decal Messaging,
Swing Door, Honolulu, HI:
“The

GIRVIN Wanderer Driftwood Placard,
Delaminating plywood,
San Juan County, WA:
“The

Glass signing, Seattle:
“The

Impressed and
Enamel Infilled Nordstrom Signage, Seattle:
“The

A Sign,
silkscreened on Canvas:
“The

Pike Place Market
Signage, Seattle:
“The

A Message
From the Dark:
“The

University District Signage for
a Flower Shop, Seattle:
“The

Love Signage,
Queen Anne, Seattle:
“The

Hospitality
Signage, Los Angeles, CA:
“The

Exterior Signing
Placards, Los Angeles, CA:
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Street Signing, Madison Park, NYC:
“The

Building Raised
Aluminum Skin Signing, NYC:
“The

Observatory
Cut-metal Signage, LA:
“The

Cut Metal Can Signing, LA:
“The

Inlaid Terrazzo Floor Signing, LA:
“The

Viewer Placement Notation, Irvine, CA:
“The

Hotel Laminate Signing, Chicago:
“The

Street Signing, Chicago:
“The

Hand-painted Door Signage, Chicago:
“The

Raised Laminate Signage,
Appleton, Wisconsin:
“The

Book Promotional Signage, Brooklyn, NY:
“The

Incised and impressed lettering:
“The

Decal Lettering on
Brushed Stainless Steel:
“The

Incised Laminate, Seattle:
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Street Signing, Seattle:
“The

Placard Signing, Seattle:
“The

Facial Signing:
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Shirt Signing, Nairobi, Kenya:
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License Plate Sign, Washington:
“The

Glass Signing, Lima, Peru:
“The

Hanging Denim Signing, NYC:
“The

Nunnery Signing, Myanmar:
“The

Street signing, Rangoon, Myanmar:
“The

Mudra, Mandalay, Myanmar:
“The

Happiness Sign,
Inle, Myanmar:
“The

Stairway, A Sign Journey
Mount Popa, Myanmar:
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Monastery Signing,
Sittwe, Myanmar:
“The

Entry Signs, Myanmar:
“The

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Bell Signage, Myanmar:
“The

313, My Boy Scout Troop,
My Studio Number:
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Sign, Ubud, Bali:
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Mudra, Sign Gesture, Indiana:
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Concrete Street Signing:
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Handlettered Signage:
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Children Making Signs,
Irrawaddy River, Myanmar:
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A laid sign, the Ace of Diamonds
Yogyakarta, Java:
“The

Funerary Stele, Myanmar:
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The Sign of
the Warp and the Weft:
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Bell Signing, Myanmar:
“The

Roadside Marker, Myanmar:
“The

Tanker Signing,
Seattle Waterfront:
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Country Sign
Directional, Skagit Delta:
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Lakeside Signing, Inle, Myanmar
“The

Mudra, a sign
Sittwe, Myanmar
“The

The Door in a Door,
Journey Sign:
“The

Palimpsest Signing, Rangoon:
“The

Monastery Sign:
“The

Posture Signing,
Wooden Placard:
“The

Tourist Sign, Seoul, Korea:
“The

Wall posting, Mandalay:
“The

The Sign of the Buddhas, Monastic Display:
“The

Digital Printed Placard, Interbay, Seattle:
“The

Skull Signing: Reykjavik, Iceland:
“The

Message Calligraphy,
Paper Signage,
Old Queen Anne Hill:
“The

The Sign of
the Box:
“The

Phoenician Door Signage:
“The

Streetside Signage, San Francisco:
“The

Pike Street Entry Signage, Seattle:
“The

The sign of the glove:
“The

Street signing, Vancouver, BC;
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The Sign of the Labyrinth:
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The circle, squared:
“The

Stencilled Street Signage, NYC:
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The Sign of the Hammer,
Burbank, CA.
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The Hanging Symbolism
of the Knot, as Sign, Paro, Bhutan:
“The

Happy Sign, Girvin, Seattle:
“The

Street signing, NYC:
“The

The sign of the enso,
GIRVIN | Seattle:
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Street Signage, NYC:
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Body signage, Bangkok, Thailand:
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The New, an improvised sign, NYC:
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A signing draft, iPad, NYC:
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A sign,
Virginia Mason, Seattle:
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Retail signing, NYC.
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Interbay, Signing, Seattle:
“The

Glass Signing, Alameda, CA:
“The

PopIn signing, Seattle:
“The

Signing, SantaFe, New Mexico:
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The Sign of the Gesture.
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Kanban, Tokyo
“The

Girvin Rare Book Library, Seattle:
“The

Post-it signage, Seattle:
“The

Lighthouse, SFo:
“The

Factory signing, Salem, OR:
“The

Street signing, SFo:
“The

Street signing, Seattle:
“The

Pike Place, Seattle:
“The

Girvin Signing, Seattle:
“The

Court Signage:
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When I think about signage, and
I contemplate the messaging that I recall as unforgettable,
it’s a word, it’s an idea, it’s a message to push you, the viewer, somewhere. Perhaps you’re lost
and trying to find a way,
then look for signs.

Signs, I’m looking for:
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More signing, Japan:
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Café Signing, Seattle:
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A Stone Sign:
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The sign to somewhere:
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Anaheim, Processional Signing:
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The Girvin Sign:
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A sign is never just letters on a building:
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Terrazzo messaging:
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The Blood Center, Seattle:
“The

Dallas, TX:
“The
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A sign, Kaua’i, HI:
“The
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Signing merchandising, Honolulu, HI:
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A signing installation:
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The sign of the future, Idaho:
“The
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GIRVIN workshop signing:
“The
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Ravencall,
TimesSquare, NYC:
“The

Talismanic signage,
Decatur Island:
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GIRVIN signage:
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For one year, I’m looking at signs,
I’m looking at signage — sure,
but I’m looking for messages, hints, symbols, notations, glimpses:
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A signmaker:
“The

A sign in a sign, Mead, WA:
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What sign, told?
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Make your own:
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Spirit sign:
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Ace:
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As a designer, and a designer of signs and way finding strategies, there is a presumption that the journeyer is lost in a manner, that pathway might be merely the meander to a way of being found.

And the finding, your self.
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Signage, the design of signage, signing experiences, will go back to
— what is the message?
— where are we going?
— what is our story?
— as we tell this story,
what could it feel like?

What would you want it to feel like?
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What I’m looking for, in the journey of design, is how that meaning can be more meaningful —
how we go deeper, to the pathway of making, creating, drawing —
and moving in-wards
for a spell:
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Discarded signing:
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When you look at signs, what do you see?
What do you see as signs,
and in looking at
the storytelling of signs,
what do they reveal?

A sign, a placard, a poster, a scratch, a symbol, a mark, a pointing arrow, a gust of wind, a swinging signboard…

For you, what is a sign?
On a building,
on the street,
over a door,
on a tree,
marked in sand,
painted on glass,
carved in stone?

What else could a sign be?

Tim | GIRVIN | San Francisco Studios

DESIGNING
HOLISTIC
WELLNESS & PLACE
THE STRATEGY OF CREATING
HEALTHY PLACES OF BEING

https://www.girvin.com/subsites/wellness
DESIGNING ENVIRONMENTS FOR HEALING + HEALTH:
PLACES | RETAIL | RESTAURANTS | SPAS | WELL CENTERS

wellness experience design, storytelling + brand = http://bit.ly/XIQ0vm