Posts Tagged With: historical signs

SIGNS OF THE TIMES

From Mary’s desk:
Signs have been around since 18,000 BC, if you count paleolithic communications on cave walls. Signage as we identify with it has been around since ancient times, telling people who couldn’t read where to find the bakery or lodging. And, of course, most ancient people couldn’t read. The concept of advertising with them more or less started with an edict issued to English pubs in 1393. The pubs were required to post a sign identifying their location for the official ale tasters. I have no idea why an official ale taster was necessary. Probably just a political perk. But, the ale houses began to compete for the most interesting and attractive signs until they finally had to make a law about size because the signs got so big, they’d bump people in the head and threatened to fall on people and kill them. Typical commercialism gone whacky. No surprise there. And, of course, signs are a must, absolutely important to all of us today. And they should communicate clearly, in this fast modern age, at a glance, what is intended. Some do and some don’t.

We all know that this is a hotel vacancy. Clear, colorful, interesting. I love signs.

This one makes it point. Its open and has pretty good stuff. Not a clue about what kind of stuff, though, so its kind of vague.

Now, this is an official street sign. You need to read it on the fly while driving. What exactly does thickly settled mean? I don’t live in this state so I have to think about it. If you have to think about it, the sign hasn’t done its job efficiently.

This sign is right to the point, Dry Goods. Its beautiful and huge. But, its on the inside of the store instead of outside? I think the proprietor is afraid it will get stolen. And, signs are often stolen. I know of a Pig Turd Alley sign where the county changed the name because the sign was so repeatedly stolen. Dang. I didn’t get a picture of it, either. And, I didn’t get a picture of the sign on Chappaquiddick of Whale Jaw Farm. I mean, what is a whale jaw farm?  I would have loved to peek, but since I wasn’t the driver, I couldn’t be nosy.

This one is absolutely clear and concise. Nice

This one is clear as well. What I love about this sign is the figure. Its old fashioned. The short pants and socks are from the 1920’s. This came from Marthas Vineyard and will be replaced by something like this soon:

Ugh. No character at all. Efficient use of paint, though. I remember reading where some airlines saved a ridiculous amount of money by eliminating one olive from its lunch plate. Go figure. The state must have to save money too. No feet. No hair. Saving the taxpayers purse. We all complain about our taxes, right?
Then there are signs that communicate quite well, on T shirts, useful objects, sides of barns or whatever. People wear signs all the time and don’t think of them as signs.

Man’s best friend is often maligned for his normal bodily functions. I love humorous T-shirts and signs on cups and such.
I expect I’ll continue to take pictures of signs as we travel. I guess you can tell we stayed home and watched a movie, looked through old pictures and in general, took a day off.

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