Welcome to the website of Martin Treu

With the release of Martin’s new book, Signs, Streets, and Storefronts, we’re just beginning to gather reviews from a variety of sources, some of which are below. But more are certainly on the way — so please check back soon!

Environmental Graphics Magazine

Martin’s book was recently reviewed by Environmental Graphics Magazine — read the full piece here.


John A. Jakle, The Journal of American History

“Martin Treu has made a thorough review of a vast literature on buildings and signs as they have combined over time to influence the look of commercial streets in the United States. He is concerned with the look of retail stores, although his purview embraces business buildings generally, including theaters, banks, and office buildings in older traditional business districts, and gas stations and drive-in restaurants along newer highway-oriented commercial strips. At issue is the prevailing tension between what architects and sign makers intended, the former too often ignoring the need for signs in architectural design, and the latter too frequently demeaning architectural styling through aggressive sign overlay. In a brief introduction Treu identifies interest groups essential to the changing…”

Please visit The Journal of American History’s website here to read John Jackle’s entire review of Signs, Streets, and Storefronts.


Stanford Magazine

“The attention paid to architectural history is seldom paid to commercial signage, and yet the latter can be just as key to distinctive landscape and is more easily lost. Treu has spent a lot of time on blue highways and in town squares documenting signscapes that he thinks are too often dismissed as “eyesores” and too readily stripped down to ahistorical or bland conformity.”