House number history 101

Celebrating 500 Years of House Numbers by breaking the mold.

House numbers are the single most used way to find peoples houses. Before numbered addresses, finding someones house could be a daunting task. Directions to a  house would have sounded like this (insert British accent) “ To be lett, Newberry House in St. James park next door but one to Lady Oxfords, having two balls at the gate, and iron rails before the door.”( issue 207 of the Spectator)

Originating in Paris in 1512 at the Pont Notre Dame, house numbers spread to the world, saving us all from terrible directions.

But house numbers are boring!

We aim to take house numbers back to the drawing board. With modern fonts, bold colors and unlimited sizes we want to introduce a new sophisticated generation of house numbers. House numbers don’t have to be boring!!

Regarding ambulances and pizza delivery.

We’ve been thinking about house numbers a lot. In fact probably too much. But in our research, we’ve come across some interesting stuff. For instance, did you know that house numbers could save your life?

On the Toronto EMS site, they have a few pointers for people in emergency situations. Point number 5 -

  • Be sure your house number is clearly visible from the street

Of course, this makes sense. If they can’t see your number, they have to waste precious time finding your house.

But what does clearly visible mean?

In our experience, and tests, four inches, which is probably the most common size, is inadequate. Even in the day time, four inch numbers are often too small to draw the eye from the street.

That’s why we start our sizes at six inches, and recommend eight inches. That may sound like a large size, but they look quite nice in proportion to the front of most houses. Trust us, your pizza guy will thank you.

The latest website has launched!

A lot of exciting things are afoot here at NMH. First off, you may have noticed the new site, which will make it easier than ever to preview and purchase nice house numbers. Also, the site is now fully alpha-numeric – so you can preview upper-case letters. We’re excited about the new site, and hope that our users will love the look of it as much as we do.

In other exciting news, we have received word that our products are (most likely) going to appear in a Martha Stewart Weddings issue in the coming months . . . Thanks Martha! We can’t wait to see them there.

We have a lot of big plans for this site. Some of the things you might want to stay tuned for are:

  • New font additions
  • Stand-off kits, to give that nice “floating” effect to the house numbers
  • LED lighting packages for use with the numbers
  • Movember specials – free house moustaches, anyone?

I came across an interesting article in the New York Times today about how font choice can affect how statements are perceived – the upshot being that careful font choice can affect how likely people are to believe a statement – or even grade a university paper!!

Pretty interesting stuff. Maybe they could do a study about address numbers . . .