Thursday, March 25, 2010

People have been using signs forever.  They use them to indicate trails, direction, titles, and musical notation just to name a few.  Some designers spend a large amount of time building signs that convey their message in a very clear, concise, and creative way.  There is a whole series of signs that we all see every day and don't see at the same time.  They have become such an intricate part of our lives we read and heed but barely notice.  I'm talking about warning signs.  I'm not talking about traffic signs but those yellow and black ones that warn us of wet floors, proper lifting procedures, and directions about what to do in the case of a fire.  I personally like the one on the elevator that says "In Case of Fire Use Stairs".  I don't know about you, but if there is a fire I'm going to use a fire extinguisher instead of the stairs!  Have you noticed that if there is a person depicted on the sign they do not have hands or feet?  Now, am I really going to take advice from people who obviously have ignored those signs?  I saw sign on the back of a rock hauling truck where the letters were very small (about the size on a license plate).  The sign said "Keep Back 200 Feet".  I can see people inching up to read the sign then slamming on their brakes because they are too close.  Back in the 1960s my family was travelling across the country to Seattle, WA and we came upon a sign on the side of a sewage truck that read "Fletcher's Septic Service: We're Number 1 in the Number 2 Business".  Simple yet effective.  How do you react to the signs of the times?

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