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Borders Bookstore Project


A Black and White Solution

"We could see our regular sign program would not work. Lose our sign visibility, and we would lose traffic."

- Fred John, Architectural Manager for Borders Bookstore

The Borders Bookstores headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan, had a dilemma. Solving it was as simple as black and white.

The popular bookseller wanted to maintain a consistent outdoor image from store to store – that is a black and-white-only appearance for its elevated channel lettering. Relatively attainable – until the challenge arose of addressing situations where stores, located in already-existing buildings, had only light-colored façades with which to work.

At night, no problem. Illuminating white lettering on the light-coloured façade was quite acceptable. But what to do during the day? White lettering would simply vanish on these façades.

Enter Jones Sign Nationwide, based in Green Bay, Wisconsin – the company Borders hired to address this issue. Borders and Jones first tackled a situation in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. The store co-occupied an existing building with the restaurant Cheesecake Factory, sharing a white-colored metal outdoor sign band area.

By using 3M™ Dual-Color Film Series, Jones created high-quality channel lettering that was illuminated to a brilliant white at night. Come daytime, the letters appeared solid black – and most important, extremely visible. A simply striking solution, to a simple black and white problem!

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