Hand Painted Storefronts of Mexico City

The very first thing I noticed on my initial visit to the Distrito Federal was the hand painted signage on almost every storefront, retaining wall and street vendor stall in the city. While the craft of sign painting came close to dying out in the US until a very recent resurgence of interest, it never went away in Mexico. The hand painted storefronts of Mexico City are a small part of the strong tradition of craft found throughout the entire country, but they are the most immediate and visible part of that tradition. And, due to the longevity of sign painters’ paint and a willingness to let the old and deteriorated remain visible, the city’s storefronts provide a visual history of typographical trends over the past several decades.

Jessica Cowley