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BEST SIGNAGE Minneapolis 2006 - Murray's Restaurant And Cocktail Lounge

Sure, everybody knows that the key to business success is "location, location, location," but we'd like to suggest another essential ingredient: signage, signage, signage. We've plummeted since the glory days of the mid-20th century, when businesses proudly announced themselves with all the flash they could muster, creating enormous monstrosities of neon and painted steel. Back then, if you wanted to find a building, you just scanned the horizon for its sign, and then followed the three-story-tall, flashing yellow arrow downward to its front door. It hardly seems possible that businesses have gotten more timid, so why the timid entryways? Too many contemporary signs are simple sans serif logotypes embellished with a small, tasteful icon. Thankfully, we still have Murray's Steakhouse, whose resplendent signage has dominated the Twin Cities since the 1940s. From the restaurant's curved, deco exterior to its two-floor-high marquee, the entire front of Murray's works as one giant sign. It's easy to become hypnotized with the sign, in fact, as evidenced by the Bill Griffith cartoon hanging in the front entryway that shows Zippy the Pinhead studying the exterior of the building and repeating the restaurant's slogan, emblazoned on the second floor in elegant, hand-painted letters: Home of the Silver Butter Knife Steak.

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