nosuigns.jpegRegular readers know my obsession with signage, particularly that of the emotionally intelligent variety.Here are three quick sign items from the inbox and the bookpile:

1. The Toronto Star‘s Kenneth Kidd has¬†a terrific piece¬†questioning whether the hyperlegalistic signs now dotting the streets of Canada’s largest city actually do any good. ¬†They’re so negative, Kidd writes, that “you’d be forgiven for thinking Toronto’s official motto has been changed from ‘Diversity Our Strength’ to ‘No You Can’t’ or ‘The Audacity of Nope.'”

2.¬†Governing magazine¬†picks up on the¬†efforts¬†of¬†Kate Fitzpatrick, Town Manager of Needham, Massachusetts, to replace traditional signs with¬†emotionally intelligent¬†ones. “So far,” the magazine writes, “the unique signage has proved so popular that it’s gone up in nearby neighborhoods, and has also been used at the town’s Vietnam Memorial.”

3. I recently began reading a great book for sign freaks. It’s called¬†Signs: Lettering in the Environment¬†by¬†Phil Baines¬†&¬†Catherine Dixon. The book offers a nice overview of how signs operate in different environments and it’s full of enough photos to sate even the fiercest addict.¬†Check it out.¬†

2 Responses to “Sign posts”

  1. Joe Hafner says:

    Here in Washington State they started an anti-littering campaign a number of years ago. The signs state “LITTER AND IT WILL HURT” which has always seemed ridiculously confrontational. The campaign sought to convey the negative consequences of litter on the environment, and the injury potential from unsecured loads. But the signage doesn’t convey any of these messages, instead coming across as an authoritarian ultimatum.

  2. Helen says:

    Just in case you haven’t seen it, check out this Presentation Zen post, Paula Scher is the designer who did the “Go to the Bathroom” and “Dry Off” signs in the museum you spoke of awhile ago.