HMFH’s façade design for University Stationery conjures up the store’s most notable qualities – a sense of history and a sense of humor.
University Stationery, a family business rooted in Cambridge, occupied the same storefront on Massachusetts Avenue for 75 years before moving to a larger retail space directly across the street. The owners engaged HMFH to design their new home, with the request to retain the quirky nature of their old store, filled with unusual office products, novelty gifts, and one-of-a-kind objects like a 6-foot long slide rule displayed in the window. The new landlord, Forest City Development, had a similar design intent – they wanted the street level of their new building to express each retailer’s identity, as if the stores had developed over many years.
HMFH used a 1950’s photo of Central Square to create a gold-leaf replica of the original sign. And adjacent to the new front door, stands a giant pencil, indicating to passersby both the products and the idiosyncratic atmosphere they will find inside.