"Real Artists Ship"

Colin Johnson’s blog

Archive for the ‘Signs’ Category

The Bleakest Shop in Christendom?

Saturday, February 11th, 2017

A shop called “BARGAIN BOOZE” is pretty bleak, but at least you know what you are getting. To buy this shop, and decide to rebrand by covering up the word “Bargain” using parcel tape, and on another part of the sign tearing off the word “BARGAIN”, so that the shop is now simply called “BOOZE”, is distinctly more depressing. (This was in Sherwood; it has now all been refurbished!).


Verboten (1)

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

I like the literalism of this graphic from Dreamland at Margate, particularly the one depicting “May cause motion sickness”:

Dreamland ride restrictions graphic

Design Failures (1)

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Here is an interesting design failure. A year or two ago, the entry gates on my local stations had a message from a charity saying with the slogan “no-one in Kent should face cancer alone.”. A good message, and basically well thought out. The problem is, that they were printed on two sides of the entry gates, which open when you put your ticket in it: as a result, one side of the gate says “face cancer alone”, and this part of the message is separated out when the gates open:

"face cancer alone"

Interestingly, someone clearly noticed this. When a repeat of the campaign ran this year, with more-or-less the same message, it had been modified so that one side of the gate now says “don’t face cancer alone”:

"don't face cancer alone"

There’s a design principle in here somewhere, along the lines of thinking through the lifetime of a user of the system, not just relying on a static snapshot of the design to envision what it is like.

Way Off

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

It’s great that the bus stops just here, so that the sign looks like it says “Way Off Licence”.

Sign cut off so that it seems to read "way off licence"

V. Good

Sunday, June 7th, 2015

If you need a lawyer, don’t settle for a good one; get a V. Good one!

V. Good and Co. Defence Lawyers

ffordian (1)

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

This looks just as though it should be something out a Jasper Fforde book, particularly the bit about “brought to you by the Ibis Management Coordination Group”, but it is genuinely verily 100% honestly real.

Do Not Feed the Ibis: an Environmental Message Brought to you By the Ibis Management Coordination Group

Situations in which I thought that a euphemism was being used but it turned out not to be the case (1)

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Followed signs to the “cloakroom”. Ended up in a room full of coat hooks.

Double Meaning

Friday, October 29th, 2010

In the college dining room, there used to be a sign saying “all of the vegetables that we serve are fresh”—a positive, healthy message. At some point, someone must have complained that frozen peas or similar were being served, as the sign was changed to the much less positive “most of the vegetables that we serve are fresh”.