The other day, I came across this umbrella repair stall in Peel Street:
I was drawn to the handwriting as much as the stall itself. Like umbrella repairers, handwriting in shops is a disappearing sight in Hong Kong. The prevalence of digital printing has done away the need to write.
I have a special fondness of handwritten signs because they represent the kind of individuality and human touch which are fast disappearing in Hong Kong. They hark back to a time when small businesses could survive (even thrive), unlike today when they’re increasingly forced out by exorbitant rents that only large chains can afford. You rarely see handwriting in chain stores: handwriting is at odds with the kind of standard and uniform corporate image that chains require.
Our cityscape is being homogenized by the same chains and same malls in every district. Shop handwriting is just another thing lost along with the diversity in Hong Kong.