I work as a graphic designer for a small publisher in a historic building in downtown Richmond, Virginia. The original occupant was The Dietz Press—a book printer that got its start in 1890. The building may actually be the same age or close. And the building still has the original ceramic tile sign lettering on the front. The typeface is a charming blackletter glazed in black on a warm yellow. If you Google this address: 145 E. Cary St., Richmond, VA, and switch to "Street View," you'll see the building and the blackletter (Zoom in). (that address isn't actually ours, but it's the one that takes you directly to the building image in Street View.
The publisher loves the building's historic charm but he is also looking for a way to get the company's name on the front. He's considering having a sign created that would cover the blackletter. He doesn't plan to destroy the old tile, just have it covered with our name so as not to confuse patrons and passers by.
I feel there must be a way to get our name on the front but still keep the vintage tile. So I'm looking to propose an alternative sign idea. If our sign doesn't go directly in front of the tile, it probably shouldn't be close—otherwise the message would get muddled. I'd love some feedback on how to gracefully incorporate a new sign with the building front. Past occupants have settled with window clings. Perhaps that's good enough, but I have a feeling my publisher won't just settle.