typography of mazatlán

restaurant mamucas
restaurant mamucas, playa norte, mazatlán.

last week, i returned from my retreat in mazatlán, sinaloa, mexico. mazatlán is a very interesting city which grew from a small fishing village to mexico’s largest commercial port. downtown and viejo mazatlán show much of this older history with beautiful old buildings painted bright colors in various states of maintenance [some are abandoned, some have been restored, some have aged gracefully with continuous use]. in the 1950-1970s, the strip along olas altas beach, zona dorada, experienced a heyday, and as development headed north, a nuevo mazatlán appeared with more of the resorts and timeshares lining the shores.

i really enjoyed the viejo mazatlán area. it has so much color, and cute little homes piled atop hillsides not unlike echo park, where i live in los angeles. i especially enjoyed the typography, sign design, and hand-painted signs that seem to proliferate everywhere in a very different style than our own. i collected some of my favorites to archive in photos.

typography of mazatlan

typography of mazatlan
how awesome is that restaurant sign? indeed, it’s dinner!

fishing boats in mazatlán
a group of fishing boats on the shore in playa norte. i loved all their colorful names. walking along the beach here, we saw a guy with about 10 octopi on a hook, asking other fishermen if they’d like to buy some.

i found this sign in the restaurant row portion of the old market downtown, i like how this union represents itself with a clear rendering of the old market building and the food they are known for selling.

bar las yardas
this is by far my favorite find. a highly stylized display face for a bar which may or may not still inhabit the building [the roll-up door was locked when we walked by]. it would be fun to recreate this as a full typeface using these sample letters as a guide.

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