Thursday, September 13, 2012

Signs of a Co-op

I've always wanted to visit the Community Food Co-op in Bozeman, Montana, and recently I finally got the chance.

Exterior of Community Food Co-op Bozeman
The building was designed, about ten years ago, to evoke the look of grain elevators and other agricultural buildings.

It's a nice co-op inside and out, with a second-floor coffee shop with nice seating and a balcony over the store, but the thing I liked the best was the signs.

Frozen food sign, hand painted with blue icy letters and shivering penguins above
Instead of using one standardized design, the signs were divergent. The only thing they had in common was the quirkiness that comes from letting things look different. (Note the penguins above the letters on this frozen foods sign.)

Fair Trade sign with birds
Everywhere I looked, there was a sign of some sort.

Vertical sign with photo of house that served as first store
This sign commemorates the co-op's three locations.

GMM poster with umbrellas, serigraph, colorful
And a special touch I don't believe I've seen at any other co-op -- for each annual General Membership Meeting, they commission an artistic poster, which generally appeared to have been either silk-screened or printed with letterpress. A very nice commemorative item.

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