The new sign looks a lot like the old one when you consider how much worse it could have been.
I agree with everything you said, and as a designer am constantly dismayed at the dumbing-down of our visual landscape, but truthfully I didn't spend much time caring about this particular example. The old sign was done in the low-cost vernacular of the time. This new one is done in the low-cost vernacular of today, which just happens to be digital and clip-art-y. I'd prefer to have the old one, but I can't expect reverence for design and retro charm out of every business.
The change is insignificant, and if you hadn't written this article I wouldn't have even noticed.
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