South of the Border Logo

Original creative concept for South of the Border logo with correspondence

Few roadside attractions are as iconic as South of the Border. That’s what makes this so fascinating. It’s the original conceptual sketch for the South of the Border logo along with correspondence between the designer and proprietor. The letters aren’t complete, but the feedback is timeless.

To set the stage, in 1950, there was no Interstate 95 and the North Carolina county that borders Dillon, SC was dry. No alcohol could be bought, or sold there. Alan Schafer, the mastermind behind South of the Border, had set out to open a simple beer stand. Through the correspondence you find a proprietor whose plan is evolving and a designer not afraid to share his thoughts.

From the proprietor


1 = I had no idea that typefaces had names! Kind of like dogs. Garamonde is all wrong. This isn’t going to be a museum – it's a beer place.

2 = The brighter the better. I like the idea of radium – it’s so now!

3 = The Mexican looks like P.T. Barnum. Can’t you have him doing a more “Mexican” thing? Leave some room at the bottom for another number. There could be another road coming. Read the papers! Maybe I’ll do beer and miniature golf.

From the designer

I know you wanted a “Pedro” type character included to accentuate the Mexican look. I’m not sure you need him and I’m a little afraid that in 40 to 50 years he may be viewed as an indignity to some members of society. But I don’t think you have to worry about that. While I admire your entrepreneuristic tendencies I think you should have stuck with your idea of franchise miniature golf rather than this inconsequential beer stand. Alan, there’s nothing there! Not even a major highway.