I've been noticing these Mul-T-Lock signs outside hardware and key-making stores a lot lately. Perhaps they're been there a while, but it seems to my eyes that they're been proliferating in recent month. I mention it, because I like the look of the signs. They're simple, and the way they hang at a perpendicular angle from the storefront reminds me of the old ways of advertising in New York, when many store signs were hung at such a pivot, the better to catch the eye of the potential customer down the block. I also like them because they're advertising such a simple and necessary product: locks and keys. Many of them are illuminated at night, long after the stores have closed.
I did a little research and found that—homely image aside—Mul-T-Lock is far from a homely little company. It's an international concern. Begun in 1973 near Tel Aviv, it now has subsidiaries in the US, Canada, UK, France, the Czech Republic and Argentina. It merged with some huge Swedish lock outfit in 2006. (Who knew locks could be so corporate?) Whatever. I still like the signs.