Rose Blake and Yukai Du among artists creating Open signs for small businesses

For the American Express Shop Small campaign, illustrators and lettering artists have brought flourish to the shop front staple to celebrate post-lockdown reopenings.

18 June 2020
Reading Time
2 minute read

Five leading illustrators and lettering artists have created “We’re Open” signs for small shops across the UK to use as they reopen after lockdown. Part of the American Express Shop Small campaign that aims to help independent retailers recover from the financial impact of the shutdown, the signs have been commissioned to bring a little flourish to the classic shop front sign. Each artist has dedicated their sign to particular favourite stores, and the designs are available for retailers to download and use.

Rose Blake’s sign depicts a blue sky, the “O” taking the form of the sun, with a little songbird sitting on telephone lines “heralding” the reopening and signalling what is hoped to be a revival for local shops and high streets. Blake’s original sign is displayed in Nook on Stoke Newington Church Street. Timothy Hunt’s sign shows heart eyes peeping through narrow shutters, and is shown in Gosh Comics as well as Janet Edwards Florist in Brixton. Yukai Du brings her recognisable pop of colour and geometry to an 80s-inspired, pattern-packed design, dedicated to her favourite stores including Word, Yard Sale, The Collab and Incoming Coffee.

Hand-lettering artist Oli Frape has channelled midcentury typography in his design, explained by a post on his Instagram stating he’s “really missed being able to pop out to the local high street,” particularly “one of my favourites, Beyond Retro”.

Charlotte Posner’s design features her signature pop doll characters. She explains of her approach to the commission: “Small businesses are at the very heart of our local communities, somewhere that has been so incredibly important during recent times. We haven’t seen open signs for so long and they’ve been sorely missed, so I wanted my work to act as a celebration of the moment that shopkeepers can welcome customers into their stores once again.”

GalleryAmerican Express: Shop Small


Rose Blake


Oli Frape


Timothy Hunt


Charlotte Posner

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Yukai Du for American Express' Shop Small campaign

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About the Author

Jenny Brewer

Jenny joined the editorial team as It’s Nice That’s first news editor in April 2016. Having studied 3D Design, she has spent the last ten years working in design journalism. Contact her with news stories relating to the creative industries on

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