November 26, 2016

Behind-the-Scenes of Creating “Honestly Ed’s” Part 2: The Campaign Signage

Part of my love of the Honest Ed’s brand is their commitment to hand-written signs advertising their wares throughout the building. The signage is so iconic that Honest Ed’s has held 3 sign sales in the last few years that has caused thousands of shoppers to line up around the block in order to get their hands on a piece of retail history. The iconic signs have been primarily hand-lettered by two men- Douglas Kerr, who has been painting Honest Ed’s signs for over 20 years, and Wayne Reuben, who has been painting them for over 50. For more details on the signage, check out these articles by The Toronto Star here and here.

Fans of iconic graphic design, unite! A day-long line around the block to buy Ed’s handwritten signage

For my “Honestly Ed’s” project, I wanted to honour the iconic signage and not recreate it myself, so I went to the store one day with my camera and snapped pics of actual signs advertising everything from shaving cream to t-shirts. I then digitally took words from different signs and put them together to make playful new sentences to go with my faux campaign photographs, keeping the original hand-crafted typography intact. I wanted to keep the new sentences cute and cheeky, reflecting the spirit of each photograph when possible.


Recombining different words from Honest Ed’s store signs to create new sentences for my photos

Overall, I’m going to miss the Honest Ed’s store, it’s amazing prices and unique finds, the wacky and odd mix of characters shopping there, and the beautiful exterior sign made up of hundreds of blinking lights. I truly hope that sign is kept on the premises as a wink to the property’s history.