When you walk down the streets of New York City, you aren’t walking just through the present. You are surrounded by the canyon walls of the past, and the signage around you—the building names, the business signs, the faded slogans—are actually fossils, peeking out from the strata of decades gone by into the present.
An adjunct professor of design and typography at the Cooper Union School of Art, Alexander Tochilovsky considers himself something of a paleontologist of these signs. By wandering around the streets of Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood, Tochilovsky was able to point out what the billboards, building names, house numbers, and mailboxes that surround us say about New York’s past.
Read more: Fast Company