Signwriting is dead. Long live the sign.
Have you noticed that there's a sign up telling you everything you must and must not, may and may not, can and cannot do? And there are so many signs up there that seem to have been put up without giving thought to who will be reading them, why, and what they'll get from them. Let's see some.
I suppose that in some parts, people are in the habit of trying to run people over ... so there is a need for signs telling people to drive carefully. Oh come off it
- when did you last go out and think "It's Tuesday - I'll drive dangerously!"
OK ... so there's a brass step. Is that telling me to be careful because there's a step (what does that material matter), or is the sign writer telling me that I need to be careful because it is brass
. Perhaps he is proud that it is brass ... I don't know!
Situated right beside a public footpath, where I'm sure that everyone passing by except me knows what a "Class B Entry Procedure" is, so can draw a proper conclusion as to whether or not they're allowed. I was just left flummoxed!
This looks like a good deal, advertised at our local station. Get an off peak ticket, and visit some great London attractions. Just one problem - First Great Western have withdrawn all the off peak trains, so here's a magnificent advert for a product you can's make any use of. Marketing own goal!
Let's see ... people
are not allowed to park in the station area as it has to be left for the public. Lemme see now - I thought that the public were people too. Just occasionally, the railways let the cat out of the bag and admit that they think that their customers are subhuman. Nice one, Tony!
And while we're on site signs, this one has appeared on several sites in Melksham recently. One copy was behind a wire grill, so that you couldn't actually read it. And another was right at a temporary pinch-point where vehicles were passing close by ... you had take your life and limb in hand to read the sign ... and allow a good few minutes to do so too, including time to bend over and read the fine print at the bottom. Wouldn't it be more effective to simple say "We'll do this work carefully and considerately of everyone around, their businesses and the environment"
Another works sign. "Put it in print on a sign, and you make it true, even if it is a lie". The businesses round the back of these road works are clearly NOT open as usual. They're hard to get to at the moment, they're darker and noisier, they've had their power unexpecterdly cut off. But - hey - the sign says "open AS USUAL", so that's all right, isn't it?
The law requires no smoking signs. It was a good idea to have them everywhere for a few weeks when the smoking ban came in, but what purpose to the No Smoking signs that festoon everywhere fulfil these days? Is it more that simply being there to meet the legal requirement for the signs? We didn't have no smoking signs at Well House Manor until the ban came in ... and we had no problem with people smoking. But we've still had to put these signs up ... to tell people what they already know
OK - that's just plain careless, or amusing .. or they didn't have room for the "M"!
Let's finish with a couple of better examples ... things you might not have guessed at, and simple signs to boot which are clear and easily read ...
... even if you do wonder what buses have to do with falling rocks. (written 2009-09-06)
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