|Vol. 14: Overhanging Signs in Europe (Vienna)|
The old part of the city is one of the most fascinating areas of Vienna. Among the wonderful classical buildings such as the Hofburg and the Stephansdom are examples of ultramodern architecture. This coexistence of the old and the new reminds one of modern Kyoto. Beautiful women who look as though they have just emerged from out of a fashion magazine can be seen strolling along the streets lined with high-class boutiques, jewelry shops, and art galleries, reminding the Japanese visitor of the Ginza and Aoyama areas of Tokyo. But in the square just beyond, young people dressed casually in jeans can be seen crowding in front of hot dog stands, as in Shinjuku and Shibuya. The attraction of the old quarter of Vienna is the vitality and the energy which ensure that the people are never oppressed under the weight of an illustrious history.
Many of the overhanging signs are thoroughly avant-garde in design, and have a sense of novelty rarely seen in other European cities. The extensive use of stainless steel is another feature which sets Viennese signs apart from those in other parts of Europe.
Nevertheless, the concern for originality is paramount everywhere, and there is great diversity in every aspect from materials to execution.