Nouveau SF Iconography

Urban Pictograms by Michael E. Goldman


Tucked away in a Hayes Valley cafe called Momi Toby’s Revolution Cafe (Hayes & Laguna), I was lucky enough to enjoy some SF-themed iconography that I wanted to share. Check it out!

Just had to share… My personal favorite is the cyclist, of course. #bikefurther

The icons are simplistic, yet spot on describing some of the trends and occurrences in everyday life around San Francisco. Depending your perspective, the icons span the good and the bad, the new and the old, the surprising and status quo. Personally, the urban pictograms are stunning.

The collection of icons are all the more meaningful after reading Kim-Mai Cutler’s (@kimmaicutler) piece in TechCrunch, “How Burrowing Owls Lead To Vomiting Anarchists (Or SF’s Housing Crisis Explained)”. Obviously still relevant from April 2014, the thoughtful article reminds us “I would not want to deny anyone — rich or poor — the chance to transform or be transformed by this place.” The diversity in Michael’s icons alone show everyone from same-sex couples to urban campers to techies.

Michael, as I learned, is a Hayes Valley resident and frequents the cafe often. More about the project can be found on Michael’s website here.

Let’s let Michael take it from here:

“Art has a responsibility to inform and educate the viewer. Not only must it be engaging, complex and beautiful, but it needs to be sensitive to the environment in which it is placed. Public art is not merely a municipal venue to show off an artist’s work, it is a chance for an artist to speak about the city, culture, history or even inherent beauty of the location in which it is placed. The artist has a responsibility to act as an educator and distiller, to mine the elements from a variety of local sources and combine them into a work that will catch the eye of the passer by, educate them and perhaps even change their perspective of the neighborhood or city they live in.” — Michael E. Goldman