Yo Corazon Tiendas

In a city that sometimes seems to be a huge mall – mile after mile of strip malls with the same stores over and over again. The Gap, 7-11, Ralph’s, Starbucks. The same thing, over and over again. All that unified messaging and all those crisp consumerist logos … sometimes I just love tiendas.

They have no regard for trademarks or copyrights or corporate styleguides. They just put paintings on the outside of their stores of things you’ll find on the inside. No marketing gurus telling them about image and experience. It’s really about going in and getting what you want.

Many of my favorites are on my drive home from work on Santa Monica Blvd. towards its headwaters. The shoe warehouses seem to have perfect logos, probably because Puma and Adidas insist on it. But some of them make no sense to me whatsover. I’m not sure what the hell this is (photo left), and I’m not sure I’d want it, even if it is 99 cents.

I love the 99 cent stores, but fruit stands and markets are the most fun – pineapples and mangoes and apples seem to be a favorite subject. But the odd potato pops in. And milk jugs for some reason.

Coca-Cola is popular.

As are cleaners and detergents.

If I had a store, I’d want to go out and paint all over the outside, too.