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“I passed a new place and it looks pretty cool. We should try it.” How many times has a friend said this? You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can gather a really favorable first impression from the outside of an eatery. Is it fun or fancy? Healthy or heart attack? Exterior design can be the first draw, even before the menu is posted. That was the case with a recent Metro Sign & Awning project. 

Prior to Grainmaker opening a second location at 248 Elm Street in Somerville (the first one was at 91 Summer Street in Boston), owner Chris Freeman contacted us. Things were taking off for the young entrepreneur and he wanted to maintain the momentum. For this shop, he envisioned simple but upscale signage to complement his culinary concept: serving grain-based dishes with Southeast Asian flavor and flair. 

The building design, furnishings, graphics and particulars (right down to the shopping bags and chopsticks) had all been decided with the help of McMahon Architects. 

What We Bring to The Table

Our team loved the idea of working with a minimalist-minded organic eatery, but there were a few logistical challenges. First, we were faced with a short lead time on a fast-paced project. And, there was just a tiny crawl space in which to maneuver all the electrical wires required. 

Creatively, our contribution was to be threefold: 

  1. Use dimensional acrylic letters on interior walls to display the five corporate values including Nourish Your Roots and Be Original.
  2. Manufacture a new exterior wall sign over the front door using halo-illuminated channel letters.
  3. Design, build and install a new blade sign at the building’s corner. We made a round-routed, back-illuminated LED sign with a faux corten brushed steel finish. 

In the end, the result was collectively celebrated. The client liked it and we were proud to add another winner to our portfolio. Today customers rush in and out of Grainmaker or linger at the small tables feeling they are in a shop that cares about their health and well-being. We sure felt that way working on this project for those two feel-good reasons, as well. 

Street cred starts with incredible signage. Day or night, let passersby know you’re serious about what you do. Whether it’s signing, awnings, lighting or lettering, our in-house team has whatever you need to stand out. Contact us for a full list of services.

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