One of the great perks of living in a major city like New York or San Francisco is that despite cookie-cutter Starbucks clogging up the block, independent coffee shops are still bubbling up all over. These personality-driven gems work hard to send their signal through the noise of so much competition. Historically, one of the ways they do so is with sandwich-board signs right outside.
If you have an Instagram account, chances are that you regularly encounter some of the more clever iterations of this trend. Examples regularly pop up on various funny-image aggregators, often making reference to the hangover that potential customers are probably experiencing (if it’s a weekend morning.) Styles range from clever jokes to crude drawings, and everything in between. One company’s efforts, though, seem to be a little more caffeinated than most.
Forget that David’s Tea is technically a chain of teahouses and not coffee shops. The end goal of both kinds of establishments is the same, especially in terms of coffee shop signage. In any case, the work that David’s Tea has been perfecting lately amounts to a disruption that should leave its coffee shops counterparts scrambling to keep up.
Each location’s signs, which are chronicled on the company Pinterest account, feature odes to pop culture and punnery. “Teanu Reeves,” a sign might read, accompanied by a respectable chalk-drawn likeness to the star of The Matrix trilogy. If that reference is too current, however, perhaps you’d prefer “J. Tea Tea,” a tribute to Home Improvement heartthrob Jonathan Taylor Thomas. Absent are the hangover curative entreaties, but in its place are Instagram-worthy homages and wordplay that make you want to join in. Might I suggest: “Gravi-tea?”
Have a look through some of our favorite signs in the slides above.