The Golden Sans Project

The Golden Sans Project is the deliciously nostalgic, sun kissed and sunburnt typography project by Gold Coast based Art Director Andrew Suggit documenting the Gold Coast’s fading holiday resort typography. The typographic style of the day was a mix of Miami, American resort and Australian Surfing and Holiday culture. These signs are from the old Gold Coast, the smaller coastal resort version of the one we know today which was at its height in the excess of the 1980s. They even hark back to the era of the baby boomers who would travel up the highway from Victoria or New South Wales for a family holiday in the sun as children and teens, long before overseas travel became affordable and easily accessible. The beauty of these signs is that they have weathered the storms and baking sun, now they have a certain aged quality that only comes with time and Andrew’s vivid photography has captured the pure essence of the old Gold Coast style, archiving and collecting this typographic signage before it disappears and is only a distant, hazy, memory.

The Golden Sans Project (TGSP) has already spawned an exhibition earlier this year, a limited edition book, an epic following on Instagram and Tumblr, an alphabetical online archive of every sign he has documented with exception of a representation for the letter Z and countless press worldwide for his beautiful series of photographs.

TGSP “started with a passion for type, and a huge range of visual collateral on the coast that was worthy of archiving.” Andrew says. Growing up in Brisbane he took road trips with his family to the Gold Coast and remembers the iconic signage of the sandy back streets. “The obvious ones like Pink Poodle, Iluka, Miami Ice, Islander Tiki Village all come to mind as fond childhood memories.”

With progress comes demolition, and Andrew has witnessed some signage disappear during his project, some being removed or covered over with a fresh lick of paint. “Miami Ice, iluka, Tropic Sands Motor Inn have been removed of late, Burleigh Arcade was painted over, and Pacific Fair is due for re-development in the next few years.”

The modern Gold Coast has lost some of its charm that made it such a destination for these Australian summer holidays of years gone by, the days when there was only the Surfers Paradise Hotel and no high rise shadowing the sun bakers on the beach after 4. Andrew agrees “it definitely has lost some charm, and bad press, but the underlying beauty of the coast still exists. You just need to look, but a definite scenario of urban blanding is happening.” It’s a wonder that these signs have survived for so long, they have formed a semi Gold Coast style, Andrew says “they are iconic to the coastal environment, they have a rare beauty that is unlike any other.”




You can view the entire archive here
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All imagery by Andrew Suggit / The Golden Sans Project

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