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The New Jank Coffee Shop   (March 22, 2006)

As part of my lucrative design contract with the new franchise, Jank Coffee, I was tasked with designing a shop front which would appeal to upscale customers willing to drop $3 for a cup o' Jank. Here is my first rendition of a "killer coffee shop" exterior.

My first thought was to milk Americans' absurd worship of all things English. (As if we didn't have enough dysfunction, scandal and intrigue in our own nobility. OK, we aren't supposed to even have a nobility, so we create one out of largely talentless media stars and politicians; but hey, they cavort, lie, cheat and dissemble with the best, I reckon).

So I start with a tweedy little Empire-style facade, complete with fake British lions and faux-Roman columns, both of which add a certain gravitas to what is clearly the smallest and cheapest stroefront on the street.

Next, I add a cute little hanging sign, so pedestrians will spot Jank and be drawn in. No detail is too small for your discerning designer; even the font was carefully selected: all capital letters in a classic-looking serif font.

Then I pop in a charming little entry/vestibule, so passersby can duck in and look at the specialty coffees on display in the glass cabinet, and be attracted to the rich scent of freshly ground coffee wafting out whenever the heavy wooden door (another nice touch, if I do say so myself) opens.

The competition--a long-tressed, voluptuous and apparently quite nude maiden mermaid wearing a crown--is certainly alluring. It's an uphill battle for Jank, but hopefully this exterior which appeals to the Anglophile snob in so many gauche Americans will prove even more alluring than a naked mermaid.

Is all this about a mermaid confusing? Perhaps you've never closely examined the green Starbucks logo to deconstruct its true charms.


copyright © 2006 Charles Hugh Smith. All rights reserved in all media.

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