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SEGD Design Awards: Windows to the World

(September 2010) posted on Wed Aug 25, 2010

A Philadelphia EGD firm adds flair to its storefront windows


By Steve Aust

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Venturi, Scott Brown and Assoc. (VSBA) architectes and planners set up shop in Philadelphia’s Manayunk neighborhood – a former industrial mill town that’s been transformed into an entertainment and nightlife hub -- home. To enliven street life, the firm presents vibrant displays in its large, storefront windows. Jeremy Tenenbaum, VSBA’s marketing coordinator and graphic designer, said the firm views the window displays as an opportunity to both support worthwhile causes and add a whimsical air to the neighborhood.

 
“We’ve featured the displays for 10 years, when we realized their potential for graphic impact,” he said. “With them, we’ve promoted several area nonprofits, such as the Children’s Aid Society and the Fairmount Park Art Assn.”

Tenenbaum said the windows are meant to be viewed from multiple perspectives; nearby and from a distance, pedestrians or passing cars. Different layers of the designs convey different levels of messaging. We try to create a big impact using plays in color, scale and pattern. We try to be respectful of our neighbors and visitors -- while being appropriately cheeky.”

VSBA’s inhouse staff develops and installs most of the window-decoration graphics with such practical materials as paper or corrugated foamboard. When a decoration requires vinyl elements, the firm contracts GraphicZone (Philadelphia) for fabrication. He said the firm changes its displays quarterly.

Amidst the recession, Tenenbaum said the window designs became even more important because they generate bright, playful designs that help lift the neighborhood’s spirit.
 


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