James and Karla Murray’s artistic and philanthropic foray into the signage industry was accidental; while researching and documenting graffiti mural art around New York City for a book project in the ’90s, the married residents of Manhattan’s East Village started to notice vanishing storefront signage as many small shops began to go out of business, chiefly due to rent increases.
“It was the signage that attracted us to photographing the storefronts,” Karla said. “It was like a work of art, even with how [the shops] arranged their products in the window.” Though their initial interest was aesthetic, the full-time photographers started noticing artist signatures and other parallels between different signs.
What began as an under-wraps passion project has flourished into multiple books – including Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York – and an altruistic Instagram account @jamesandkarla with a following of 13,900. There, the duo conduct an “artistic intervention” to stem the store closures they observed since Store Front was published in 2008.
“We are really trying to help save these small businesses because they are an important part of what makes each neighborhood unique,” Karla said.
Find it here! ISA Sign Expo 2023
Whether you're looking to grow your business or advance your career, ISA International Sign Expo® 2023 is the only place to find everything you need to be successful in the sign, graphics, print and visual communications industry.
Photo Gallery1 week ago
11 Scenes from STRAAT: The Museum for Street Art and Graffiti
Projects1 week ago
3 Amazing American Sign Museum Restorations
Eric E. Larsen1 week ago
Clean Signshops and Trucks Promote Positivity and Efficiency
Buzz Session1 week ago
When and Why Sign Companies Fire Their Customers
Paula Fargo1 week ago
Every Sign Company Makes Mistakes
Sign Confidential2 weeks ago
Working from Home Allows SOT’s Editor to Do More, Live Better
Project Tracker1 week ago
Grand Ole Opry, Brand New Face
Dale Salamacha19 hours ago
Create Your Sign Company’s Reality