For decades, shopkeepers up and down Britain have intuitively understood one of the key principles of branding. It's about taking an inanimate product or an intangible service and investing it with a personality. Something to which people can relate on a human level.
They've also worked out the simplest way to do it. Just take your product or service and put 'Mr' in front of it. Or in some cases, Mrs or Miss. It's a great way to describe what a shop does and personalise it – all in one short, memorable name.
The result of this instinctive 'folk branding' is a lively cast of characters who cheer up the everyday shopping experience for millions of people.
But these characters are in trouble. The increasing homogeneity of Britain's high streets is crowding out the individual and the homespun. Some are disappearing altogether, while those that remain are jostling up against powerful global brands that easily outdo them for sophistication and marketing spend.
Mr Blog is an attempt to recognise and honour these under-appreciated characters, and show them our support.
Mr Blog is
the idea of Asbury & Asbury, a creative partnership between Nick Asbury
(words) and Sue Asbury (design). Unless otherwise specified, all of the images on Mr Blog are taken from
Google Street View, one of the great wonders of our age.
Please email your own sightings and suggestions. We're interested in shops that directly personalise their product or service. Mr Brown's Curtain Shop doesn't meet our criteria. Mr Curtains does. We are based in the UK but open to contributions from all over the world, in any language.