Top 10 Old Shop Signs in Amman

Unfortunately, Many of Amman’s good old shop signs have been removed and lost. Here I share with you my selection for the best existing signs, based on my personal taste, so it does not mean that number 1 is better than number 10 🙂

Hope you enjoy looking at them:

10. Chinese Shoe Gallery, Downtown, Quraish St.

Image

By unknown sign painter, most probably he was Elia Kayyal. What I liked here is the piccadilly shoes logo on the right side!

9. George Studio, Jabal Amman, Mutran St.

ImageA great example of contemporary typographic treatment for the Arabic and English names. The studio owner is a very nice guy as well. The sign it was made by Tarkhan, an Iranian origin sign painter who lived and worked in Amman.


8. Ashoury Shoes, Downtown, Basman St.

ImageA very old sign in Basman street, the maker is unknown, but he used a nice design to lay the sign items out. We see the wooden material is very aged, and a nice extruded shoes in both sides.

7. Sami Barbershop, Jabal Lwaibdeh, Paris Sq.

ImageAn amazing sign done by Niocla Sabanekh, a famous Ammani sign painter, he was born in Jaffa and learned a lot of sign making techniques since he worked with British mandate offices in Jordan and Palestine. In this sign Sananekh used a very advanced design touch, which was the matchmaking between Arabic and English names, the strange shape of letter A is something we don’t see a lot, and geometric slanted Arabic letters gives the sign a very modernized identity fits the cultural spirit of Lwaibdeh.

6. Bahlawan Company, Downtown, Souq El Sukkar

ImageThis is a beautiful hand painted by oil colors on wooden surface, it was made by the Syrian origin sign painter Yassin Jookhi, as we see here Jookhi has used a very rare Kufic style to write the shop name, he call this style: Qudsi Kufi!

5. National Exhibition, Downtown, Reda St.

ImageOne of the oldest shop signs in Amman, you can know this fact from the 3 digits phone number! What is great about it is the weird slanted English name to the left, while it should be slanted to the right as it’s acknowledged in the Latin typography basics.

4. Rafidain Bank, Downtown, King Faisal St.

ImageLovely old sign for this Iraqi bank in Amman, you can see the beautiful finish on the letters production, also the very clever integration of letter R in steel works on the windows.

3. Salon Vert, Downtown, Prince Mohamamd St.

ImageThis one also not signed as well, but it was a brave decision to use this in-lighted letters directly on the building facade.

2. Ali Abu Kalam, Downtown, Souq Mango

ImageI loved this sign since I was a young kid, it reminds me with the old shop signs in Damascus and Cairo, that because of the wooden chiseled letters that we don’t see very often in Amman.

1. Debbas, Downtown, Prince Mohamamd St.

ImageI love this sign a lot, it has been a prominent landmark of Amman to me, I’ve took many friends and guests just to see it in person.. The colors, the layout, the effects, the bilinguality.. All of these points make this sign one the best in Amman.

Of course it was made by Elia Kayyal, the famous sign painter from Nablus.. You can see his two signatures in the bottom corners. Kayyal left many great signs over Amman shops, but unfortunately all of them has been removed and lost except this one and other 3 or 4 signs.

What is required from us as an Ammani citizens:

– Do what is possible to save those beautiful signs, they are part of the city character and a survived witness for Amman’s history.

– We should convince the shop owners to take care of their signs, by telling them how important they are.

– A retouching process should take place to maintain the signs.

– There should be an efforts from the Amman municipality to protect those art pieces.

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3 Comments

  1. Thank you Mohammed, let me know if you need any help to care of your sign and your design services in general, here is my Mob number: 079 709 1084

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