This week, we read The Secret Language of Signs: the most useful thing thing you pay no attention to. I have been paying a lot of attention to signs everywhere I go. I think that most signs around NYC are a-ok—they’re not great, but they’re not horrible, and they serve a purpose, they get the job done given their circumstances.
WHAT’S GOING ON HERE?
The “What’s Going On Here” signs at city construction sites are an example of a sign that “gets the job done.” Nobody cares to read about why the construction is happening, they just want to get where they’re going, but for some reason (the law?) these wordy signs appear wherever there is construction. They are not designed to be read in full and I have to believe that this is intentional. The colors are a little bit jarring, but for anyone who might be wondering “what’s going on” they’ll see that title up top nice and clear and they can read all about it and get even more information if they are so inclined. Still, the sign could be condensed, the colors could be less in-your-face / boring, and an image could go a long way.
BROOKLYN COMMUNITY DAY CARE CENTER
This sign for Brooklyn Community Day Care Center looks like it might a s well be a sign at a construction site. The text is small and hard to read. The most important thing (the first to catch your eye) is the phone number because it’s in bold. The color scheme looks like a warning/caution sign, not a sign for a day care center. This sign needs to highlight that it is for a daycare center because that message is lost.
DO NOT WAIT IN THIS AREA
This sign is confusing because it’s placed at a subway platform where people have nothing to do but wait. Why can’t they wait in this area? How far does the area extend? These questions are not answered by this sign or by any other signs. So people inevitably ignore the sign and wait in this area. No harm done, right?
This sign has a clear message and every design choice supports the message. Used Cars is the spotlight, and then you see that they’re also safe. The color scheme and typography support the nostalgia feeling of a classic car, maybe you’ll find the car of your dreams here.
WATER BOTTLE FILLING STATION
I saw this sign and thought I could make it better…the typography is nice and clean/clear but I think the message could be conveyed without any words (similar to how a STOP sign is better conveyed by the red shape than the words).