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Michopoulos fabric shop, Athens

Contributed by Chris T on Mar 26th, 2022. Artwork published in
circa 1975
.
    “ΜΙΧΟΠΟΥΛΟΣ” in Jackson
    Photo: Chris T. License: All Rights Reserved.

    “ΜΙΧΟΠΟΥΛΟΣ” in Jackson

    Μιχοπουλος (Michopoulos) is a fabric shop in Patisia, Athens. The signs on its façade use two display typefaces issued by Mecanorma around 1971, but customized to support the Greek alphabet.

    The name is shown in the all-caps Jackson. Most of the required glyphs could be obtained by repurposing the existing Latin characters: X for Χ (Chi), V for Υ (Upsilon), etc. There was no such equivalent for the letters Π (Pi), Λ (Lamda), and Σ (Sigma), so these were added in a matching style. The lettering above one shop window reads “καλύμματα / κουρτίνες” (“covers / curtains”). It’s based on Juke-Box, a lowercase-only typeface. Like Jackson, it didn’t come with Greek characters out of the box. Again, the unknown sign maker used Latin glyphs to approximate Greek letters: k works as a stand-in for κ (kappa) – although the latter usually is ascenderless – a is used for α (alpha), v for υ (upsilon), o for ο (omicron), and a dotless i for ι (iota). The rest is custom(ized) to varying extent: λ (lamba) is made from a mirrored h with a sharp bottom right corner. Turn it by 180 degrees, add another sharp corner, and you get a shape resembling μ (mu). The modular design of Juke-Box with circular counters facilitated the harmonious addition of missing characters.

    “καλύμματα / κουρτίνες” in Juke-Box
    Photo: Chris T. License: All Rights Reserved.

    “καλύμματα / κουρτίνες” in Juke-Box

    “καλύμματα / κουρτίνες” in Juke-Box (close-up)
    Photo: Chris T. License: All Rights Reserved.

    “καλύμματα / κουρτίνες” in Juke-Box (close-up)

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    • Jackson
    • Juke-Box

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