Signage in Flushing, New York

Curator: Manuel Miranda
date: June 11, 2014
Categories: Environmental Design
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Image credit: Bancha Srikacha
Flushing, Queens, NY

Cacophonous storefront signage displays in downtown Flushing reflect the neighborhood’s history of immigration and entrepreneurial activity. 

Downtown Flushing is the fourth largest central business district in New York City and has the second highest Chinese population outside of Asia. Like many neighborhoods in the city, Flushing has gone through multiple demographic changes over the decades, and in the early twentieth century, the US film industry was based there before it moved to Hollywood. Signs in multiple colors and languages (primarily Chinese, Korean, and English) dominate building facades in a way that is organic and visually engaging and the density of the signs speak to the urban setting. Beyond fulfilling a function as business identification, the signs also transmit immigrant hopes and desires. In aggregate, the signage establishes a community-created dynamic visual identity for the neighborhood. 

Image credit: Richard Cunningham
Flushing, Queens, NY

Image source: Google Maps
Flushing, Queens, NY

Image credit: Richard Cunningham
Flushing, Queens, NY

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