Hotel Signs of Waikiki3

More unique script signs from high budget to low.

One of the best, this script for probably the classiest hotel undoubtedly had the budget for a custom logo from a real sign painter. It’s likely the ownership put a lot of care and thought into this script so that it sends the right message and the design has stood the test of time.

One of the most unique script fonts although a little awkward, apparently designed to mimic forms seen in real coral chunks.

The above sign has the distinction of actually being hand painted and is most likely in the artist’s own brush font. Note the variation in the a’s & k’s–this artist seems rushed, other signs have more uniformity in the characters. The origin of the craft (sign painting) goes back to the 1880s and peaked in the 20s-30s before the process became more mechanized, but in this case an actual hand-painted sign looks really low budget… this place is more like a skid row tenement than paradise.

I really like this bold script, it’s very neutral and would make a nice digitized font, an alternative to Brush Script which is similar but this is more graceful and heavy, and more polished without the chunky stokes of Brush.

Hotel Signs of Waikiki2

A few more good script signs, none of which identically match any modern popular font.
Hale Waikiki seems close to the classic Brush Script but is totally different. The caps are non-script, and k’s open, plus the weight is heavier. It’s much closer to Freehand but fatter and more flair.

Pretty close to Brush Script but different shapes, taller & thinner. Looks like they manually curved the logo from preformed straight letters. See the stroke mismatch in ic, to & ia.

Unlike Brush fonts with its mono-weight stokes somewhat like Kaufman or Sante Fe.

For a tacky supermarket but staying with the script theme. Goofy with its rounded i’s, and paired with the slab serif caps. No luck finding a modern font like this script.

Hotel Signs of Waikiki

Bailout got you bummed out? Extended recession, crashing markets, crisis of our lifetime looming? Take a break from the news and enjoy a virtual Hawaiian vacation.

Check out these cool classic Waikiki hotel signs. The lettering of these beautiful custom signs are often hand-created, one-of-a-kind fonts. The building itself is a big part of the sign, logo, and identity but I’m interested in the lettering.

This first batch is based on casual handwriting… like you’d jot a quick note while packing for your 1950’s style family vacation. The fonts are not at all Hawaiian, but generic scripts suitable for any american roadside hotel from Route 66 to the New Jersey turnpike.

Close to the classic and only surviving font of this era, “Brush Script” but with different caps R & G. The rest of the lettering is slightly more mechanical than Brush.

Decaying and getting hard to read but pretty close to “Sign Painter – House Casual”.

The boxed sign, as opposed to letters on the building, looks instantly more cheap (this place is cool seedy & gloomy). The font has nice “lo, al, ha” ligatures.

The other surviving font from this era (but not a script) is “Dom Casual”. This is close to Dom Diagonal Bold except its 2-story “a”. Most of Waikiki’s signs are script.

Good use of space


Those Hawaiians show an interesting use of space above. A nondescript cement wall to a parking garage is cut into to create an open-air tropical gourmet restaurant. They lost some palm trees and bushes and that’s a bummer, but still I’m amazed at this transformation. When can we start doing this to parking garages in Detroit & Oakland?