Transforming Phra Khanong through Shopfront Signs

Phra Khanong shopfront signs

One thing I have witnessed over the years living in Phra Khanong area is its gradual transformation. Although several new residential buildings are apparent (including my place that used to be a cinema), there is obscure evidence that changes could be traced from its past glory to what it might become–they are shopfront signs.

These signs are from shops in the patch that is now known as W District. But, to be exact, they are on Pridi Banomyong 3 Alley, a small bit of Sukhumvit 71 Road, Edison Alley (Pridi Banomyong 1 Alley), and Sukhumvit 69/1 Alley. Map below.

The collage is roughly arranged in a matrix.

The vertical arrangement shows how old I guess the signs would be. Signages of closed shops and stores that are fading and frozen in time from decades ago are in the bottom. And ones that are running and new business (as of September 2019) are towards the top.

Whereas from left to right is ordered by the languages used. The most left is only Thai on the shopfronts. There are some only in English. Then there are dual-language signs that don’t have to be in Thai. And to the right, there are three in one: Thai, English, and either Japanese, Chinese, or Korean.

Phra Khanong is going through another transformation. And it is not certain that any of this shopfront sign would last for how long in years to come. Old ones might even stay longer than the new.

To me, these different uses of styles, typography, and languages on these signs show the glimpse of its diversity and history of this area.