Category Archives: Signage

Type Tuesdays: The Force of Typography

Some very ingenious Italians over at H-57 Creative Station have designed a series of Star Wars characters entirely out of type…and what’s best, is that each one includes a legend to let us know what type family was used for each component.

Love it.

They’ve been received so well (by Star Wars and Typography enthusiasts alike) that they’re looking into making them available to the public.

[ Found via I Believe in Advertising ]


Please Don’t

While skimming through my travel photos, I started noticing a trend: I have a tendency to photograph signs telling people what not to do…be it text, pictograms, the ever-recognizable “no sign” or some combination thereof, I apparently find it interesting and amusing how people are told not to do things.

For instance, in Bath, England it’s necessary to remind passersby not to dive into the murky brown waters of the River Avon…we’ve got a traditional no-sign and text (just in case the pictogram isn’t clear).

In Paris, however, they make due with universally understood pictograms crossed out by x’s…on the Arc de Triomphe, there’s no food, no public nudity (?!), no smoking, no camera tripods, and no mobile phones allowed. I think.

Whereas in Egypt, they just assume the universally understood language is English….there, each sign is unique, bold, and effectively placed, like this no entry sign (physically barring an entrance) at the Temple of Isis on the island of Philae.

When visiting Italy, I’d read that to gain entrance to many churches (and especially the Vatican), one had to dress respectfully…no bare legs and no bare shoulders…as explained in this sign posted regularly along the line-ups in St. Peter’s Square. I think it does a pretty good job demonstrating what is, and what isn’t, acceptable attire (though one might argue they’re advocating bare midriffs….or white belts):

….I also stumbled across an older version of the same sign. This one really just ought to be retired. Not only is it implying no bare legs and arms, but that no bare chests and bottoms are permitted either. Or is it?

And to make matters worse due to the signs’ age and wear, it now seems to indicate that one-legged women with no tops and short bottoms aren’t permitted either…nor are guys missing a piece of shoulder and wearing lederhosen.

Of all the photos I found, this one in Barbados takes the prize for “most complete”. It’s got both a danger sign and a pictogram of someone drowning, plus lots of text telling you what not to do, why, and what the consequences could be if you ignore the warning…to the sign-makers’ credit: it was a beautiful little cove that looked perfect for swimming…maybe there should have been more signs posted.

…Like in Niagara Falls, Ontario, where about every 10 feet you’re reminded not to hop any fences and plummet into the falls…they feature a custom pictogram (the fence depicted is an accurate representation of the fences all along the Niagara parkway), a standard no-sign, and the conveniently bilingual “danger”.

So now you know: my odd photo habit is that I take signs of what we’re not supposed to do. If you have any odd photo habits of your own, do tell!!


Clifton Hill Signage

I’ve been to Niagara Falls, Ontario a few times now, and can’t understand the “been there, done that” attitude about them…maybe I indulged a little too much in the local wines, but I really do think the falls are beautiful and worth revisiting: both from afar, and from right up close on the Maid of the Mist.

That being said, there are elements of Niagara Falls that are a little much: like Clifton Hill. If you go there knowing it’s over the top, though, I found there was much to appreciate about it:

Like the many, many candy stores offering up not only real candy (and amazing fudge and peanut brittle), but loads of eye candy as well.

I couldn’t help notice that many of the candy stores featured pink very prominently, which immediately calls to mind cotton candy…what other traditionally pink candies are there? (besides bubble gum?)

But it wasn’t just the candy stores offering up delights…all down the street are wonderful, wonderful signs flashing, and blinking and accompanying a cacophony of sounds trying to grab your attention:

Even huge brand names have gotten into the spirit of Clifton Hill…which happens to abound in haunted houses, all claiming to be the world’s most frightening…so what to do if you’re attached to one? Burger King decided to embrace it:

Much to my boyfriend’s dismay, we didn’t visit the House of Frankenstein…I’m a big chicken and am consequently not too keen on haunted houses.

Maybe next time.