Friday, August 7, 2009

Les Enseignes des Temps

It's always a joy to be in an unfamiliar place, because you notice the signs more than you do in your regular milieu. And when the signs are in a different language, it's even more fun.

Blue and red sign with a stylized owl symbol and the name Couce-Tard
As an American English speaker, one might think this business is targeted at a subset of couch potatoes, but my high school French reminded me that "couche" means "bed." I still didn't know what it meant, though, so a quick check of the Wikipedia told me that it means "late to bed," colloquially translated as "Night Owl" and therefore the nicely designed logo.

Stylized tall ship and the words La Fete de la Nouvelle France
A pleasant typographic logo for the Festival of New France, which is being held this week in the lower city.

Hot dog wrapper with the word Hummmm emitting from the hotdog
In the French-speaking parts of the world, I guess tasty food causes you to say "Hummmmm" instead of "Yummmm."

Large poster with the word FOLK at the top and Mondrian-style red, yellow and blue blocks with black lines below
Channeling Mondrian for the folk festival.

Weathered, blue metal sign saying La Vendome with an old-fashioned carriage below the name
A lovely old sign along Cote de la Montagne, heading toward the lower city.

Sign reading Hotel Clarendon, with the word Clarendon set in the typeface Americana
Trés amusant -- perhaps we should call it Hotel Americana?

Poster that says Entrez - Les Momies Vous Tendents les Bras
My translation of this poster is Come in -- the Mummies Await You with Open Arms. Anyone got a more accurate meaning? (Seen on the outside of the Musée de la Civilisation.)

Orange traffic alert sign saying Detour Rue St. Jean
This sign had a major effect on the early part of my trip to Quebec, because every evening at 6:00 they close Rue St. Jean so people can walk in it, and the cafés can have seating on the narrow sidewalks. It's quite a party atmosphere, but if you're trying to drive there, it's a disaster because there's no good way to go around it, due to the many one-way streets.

Poster showing swimming goggles with three eyepieces instead of two. Headline says Extraterrestres et si c'etait vrai
A fun poster for the extraterrestrials exhibit at the Musée de la Civilisation.

Happy hour sign at a bar listing Billiards, Darts and Baby Foot
Baby foot?? Dang, what is that? Google to the rescue: It's foosball. Mais oui.


Mark Simonson said...

A "nouvelle" use of the Greek letter mu in the second one there.

Daughter Number Three said...

Yes, I noticed that odd bit added to the letter "u" in Nouvelle. Not sure what the designer was thinking there.