Dublin City Council has refused permission for our gorgeous Pantibar sign, and I am asking for your help in appealing that decision to An Bórd Pleanála. I know that on the scale of things you get asked to sign petitions for, our beautiful sign may seem trivial, but I do love it... so I'm asking you to anyway! On the upside, your signature really can help. Our lovingly designed and hand-crafted sign was refused permission on foot of three complaints (one of which came from someone who came to us first looking for a large sum of money not to complain!) so a show of support from people who like our sign - and think it adds to rather than detracts from Capel Street - can really help us.
I won't bore you with all the reasons why I think Dublin City Council's decision was completely wrong, I'll just ask that if you like our sign and think it should be allowed stay, then please sign the petition. I'll also ask that the next time you are walking down Capel Street, look around and ask yourself is our sign (among all the "projecting" cheap, ugly signs) the problem?
And I will repost below my original online comment after first hearing of the council's decision last week. I was a little annoyed at the time! (I still am!)
You can read more about the decision of Dublin City Council here:
And you can see more pictures of our lovely sign here:
My original online comment:
The Pantibar sign is not a thoughtless addition. It was designed by one of the greatest designers this country has ever produced, the internationally acclaimed Niall Sweeney, to exacting standards. So exacting that at first we had trouble finding an Irish company who could make it, but eventually we found an amazing sign makers who took it on and hand-crafted the special moulds needed to realise it. It was designed specifically to look good both in the daylight, and when lit up at night. It is not made from "inappropriate materials". It's made from acrylic, a material that has been used since the 1800's. Nor is it an inappropriate size! It's designed to sit perfectly in sync with the building.
Capel Street is not a museum. It's one of the most vibrant and colourful streets in the whole city (where a rubber stamp shop sits beside a hardware store, beside a Brazilian cafe, beside a Polish supermarket, beside a Thai restaurant, beside an aikido shop, beside a sex shop...) and the Pantibar sign reflects, and adds to that vibrancy. The sign also references the nature of the bar, taking cues from "show" signage from The Moulin Rouge to Broadway, to the old lost theatres of Dublin. Indeed, it's already an iconic sign for the city. Ask any of the locals and tourists alike who everyday take photographs of it.
This is a classic case of "can't see the wood for the trees" where there is a knee-jerk reaction to anything that's not timid and not a dull, fake pastiche of an imagined "olde world" Dublin. Not to mention of course that the city (and Capel St) is blighted with cheap, ugly, lazily designed signage that gets ignored because they fit the narrow, design-ignorant arbitrary rules.
Ireland has always appreciated our wordsmiths. We love our poets our novelists our playwrights. But Ireland has never appreciated visual design. It's never given its due respect, and this decision reeks of that.
I do appreciate good design. I went to art college for four bloody years to study design! I realise that everyone has their own taste and some people will not like our sign, but everyone's opinion is not equally valid I'm afraid. This is something we all understand when it comes to critiquing anything else. We value a food critic's opinion on food over the opinion of Mary on the bus. We value the opinion of someone who studied literature over the opinion of someone who studied accountancy when it comes to books. And conversely we value the accountant's opinion over the literature guy's when it comes to our accounts. But we give no such respect to visual design. There is nothing cheap or thoughtless about any of Pantibar's visual communication. I love good design, I love Capel Street. I love Dublin (and wish it weren't blighted by cheap signage that adds nothing to the cityscape). And I fucking LOVE our beautiful sign.
I will be appealing this neanderthal decision, and fighting it tooth and acrylic nail.
We the undersigned think the iconic Pantibar sign has artistic and cultural merit and adds to - rather than detracts from - Capel Street and the city, and as such should be saved.