Frame 8. Sign of the Times

Why o why o why o why do we have signs? I am talking generally here. Signs are meant to be informative. They are meant to give directional, alert you to safety issues, tell you what to do or what not to do. Think of road signs, signs in an airport or railway station. They are all very valid. But what gets my goat are useless signs, signs that are not required , serve no useful purpose and generally clutter my life. 

Yesterday I saw a sign attached to a railing by a pedestrian crossing. It was yellow with black text and stated the following:

"To cross, press the button, wait for the man to turn green and then cross."

Now talk about stating the bleeding obvious. Do we see signs telling us how to use an elevator, use a telephone, get into a car or use a toilet? No! Why, because we grow up learning these things and and they become second nature. We are taught by our parents, or work out for ourselves thru experience, how these things operate. Unless you are a 3 year old child without your parents trying to cross the road, this sign is useless and superfluous. So why have it. I think any 3 year old child, out alone, trying to cross a road has a lot more to be worried about.

I see signs everywhere, many necessary, but an increasing number are not. I don't want to see some tatty cardboard sign, sellotaped to a lamp post directing me to a rave that took place 3 weeks ago. I don't want to see a sign directing me to some crappy Golf Sale.

I want less stupid signs. 

Above is a photo I took at a local funfair some time ago. I was experimenting with long exposure night shots. The fair produced some fantastic results.

1 comment:

  1. Just think how many people whose lives have been touched by that sign you saw in the street. Someone had to select what size and medium to use and then select the lettering. The sign had to be created and then some clerk somewhere assigned it a reference and had it transported to a depot of the local council. Someone had to decide who to allocate the job of fixing the sign to and decide the day on which it should be carried out. Then a couple of blokes (its always a couple of blokes) had to take it in their van, park up, remove it from the van and place it at the side of the road, perhaps one had to consult the job sheet to make sure it was in the right place. While this was going on, a child could have been waiting to cross the road holding its mother's hand and wondering what the sign was for ... etc etc etc