The Hart-Albin Building in downtown Bilings, Montana has a golden past. Around the turn of the 19th century it took the post as the region's star department store. Experiencing premier shopping at "Hart's" meant you had arrived! Sadly, in 1989 this iconic store's doors were closed.
In my mid twenties to early thirties I worked as an advertising artist for the store. That position still rates as one of my top jobs! I drew and illustrated merchandise in ink/wash for ads eight hours a day, designed brochures, conceptualized promotional graphics...and whatever delightful tasks crossed my path. And the people I worked with have kept special places in my heart.
I was contacted for some consultation work by the current building owners this spring to develop a color palette for the re-configured lobby, and create a new logo and signage. They weren't aware of my past connection with the store, of course it made the job extra special for me.
The photos are part of the signage that was hung above the sandstone fireplace in the lobby. A shout out my amazing and talented buddy Mark Lynde at Sign Pro for the professional work on the piece! The rectangle shape is paying homage to the gold Hart-Albin sticker that was adhered to wrapped packages from the store. The font in reverse matches the font used by the department store from the 1940's through the eighties.
A salute to our downtown diva!
As a working artist/retired art educator, I've always lived the artful life. Let's share!