To practice my hand-lettering, I’m working on a series of fake business logos. No vectors or fonts, just me, a pencil, brush and a ruler, kickin’ it old school. The talented Eliot Lefebvre has been kind enough to provide me with copy regarding the prosperous fake business The Stop Life Cafe.
Founded in 1954 by Stanley Lauder, the Stop Lite Cafe was located at the intersection of two major streets in Middletown, CT. The cafe’s primary advertising gimmick was its sign, which cycled through the three colors of the light at regular intervals. Lauder, a veteran of World War 2, proudly advertised that his cafe would allow you to come in, get your food, and be out before the light changed.
Lauder did brisk business until 1963, when the advent of franchise fast-food joints began to impact his sales. Clever at advertising, he changed the cafe’s atmosphere to being one where you could stop and go back to a simpler time. The uniforms were slightly redesigned to look more archaic, and business remained steady even after Lauder passed away in 1979, giving control of the restaurant to his sons. Dwight, his younger son, had no interest in running the restaurant, preferring to run away to San Francisco and attempt a career in art until his death in a car accident in 1983. Ronald Lauder, the older brother, was the primary owner until 1987. Due to mounting financial costs and a steady drop-off in business, he sold the property to a development interest that demolished the old building and put in a small apartment complex.