Jessy Nite's Guide to Miami Beach's Best Signage

Categories: Art, Culture

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Robert Dempster
Miami artist Jessy Nite may be as "Bad As [She] Wanna Be," but that doesn't mean she can't also use her art skills for good. Nite recently launched Nite Writer, her own design, illustration and typographic studio. So we asked her about the sites around town that inspire her creations. Here's her response.

Hunting down great signage is one of my favorite things to do. Everywhere I go, my only vacation photos are of signs, and in a place like Miami, it's a total dream for type fans of any persuasion. But asking me to choose my favorite signs is like asking me to choose my favorite band...I don't even know where to start! Every neighborhood has its own style, and there are pockets of typographic magic all over this city. There's the epic sprawl of Serge's hand painted work in Little Haiti, the neons on Calle Ocho, the funny spanglish hand-written notes in windows across the city, and of course the vintage gems from the early days.

I could drive around for months and never capture them all, so I decided to stick to my home court: The Beach! I skipped the expected Delano, Sagamore and Eden Rock, and tried to grab a variety of my favorites that range from the local spots I see daily on South Beach, to the big Collins hotels I used to dream about while on vacation at my Great Grandma's on 69th Street. So here you go: The Nite Writer Signage Tour of Miami Beach.

See also:
- Jessy Nite is a Bad, Bad Girl at Primary Projects
- Artist Jessy Nite on Porn, Wynwood Lovin', and Why Not To Take Art "So F***ing Seriously"

This is probably my favorite sign on South Beach. I love that it's on a building that is always empty and surrounded by the characters on Washington Ave...and what it says, "Giveaway," makes me think of people just giving up and giving themselves away, disappearing into the derelict beach scene.

I'm not sure if this is the original colorway and signage set, but I love it. The mix of letter styles (there's even another one on the North facing side) and candy colors fit right in line with the kinds of vintage that inspire my work.

I see this and it just makes me happy. It makes me think about families and couples coming here back in the day, on Holiday "in The Tropics!" There's something about that word that really embodies Miami and that bold letter style makes it feel like we're claiming it.

This one is clean and strong, but almost playful in the way it moves with you. From different angles, you can see the letters floating in the sky.

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Can I make a nomination?  The 1150 building on SW 1st St in Little Havana.  Now if they would only bring that building back to its former glory...

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