A classic black and white enamel sign

The black and white enamel sign design is probably as stylish and functional as one can imagine. The plates fit all colours and are easy to fit into old, as well as new, environments. The combination of black and white offers maximum contrast, which in turn provides maximum readability. The Highlander design is surprisingly functional and modern. In fact it’s history stretches way back, long before the time of functionalism! The design fits well under the Bauhaus doctrine “Form follows function”. But unlike the Bauhaus movement, we do not believe that “ornament is a crime”. There are many instances where the ornament in itself has a very essential function.

In the cradle of industrialism in Northern Europe the industrialized production of porcelain enamel signs flourished. From here it spread across most of Europe, and later also to the New World. With the increasing organization of the society followed a growing need for all sorts of signage with prohibitions, commands, names, numbers, directions and warnings. All these signs were mostly done in porcelain enamel because of their extreme hardiness and longevity. The combination of black lettering on white background was the standard for all text signs. Naturally, this is because black and white were the only enamel colours which were available in the early days. But this design surely owes it’s continued popularity to it’s functional qualities. To this day, it is preferred for nameplates, door signs, house names and other text signs.