World Sign
Vol. 50: A Picturesque Scene in Jaipur

The North Indian city of Jaipur is a fascinating place. The buildings of the old city, which came into being in the 18th century, are colored entirely light pink, a feature that gives Jaipur the alternative name “The Pink City.” The coloration is due to the use of the distinctive pink sandstone found in India and used here as a building material. Apparently there is a municipal regulation stating that all buildings in the city, including those with outer walls of brick, must be painted pink.

Another interesting feature of the city is that the facades of all the buildings have stylish designs suggesting a royal palace. This feature gives the city as a whole the look of a place out of a fairytale.

Almost the entire city constitutes a bazaar in which shops with narrow openings push up against each other to create a boisterous scene. The shops are full of all kinds of goods, and one never tires of looking at the whole range of merchandise being displayed at each shop. Indians show great enthusiasm to develop new products, and the variety and design are enormous.

In a shoe shop, I found myself fascinated by a charming pair of embroidered shoes with tapering points in the classical Indian manner. The shoes hanging at the front of the shop were picturesque enough to form a picture. Observing more closely, I realized that this was in fact the shop’s sign and not merely a display of merchandise. This was a highly effective type of sign created at very little expense. I felt that I was gazing on the conceptual starting point for signs.

1998 Copyright (c) All Japan Neon-Sign Association