Sign of the Times

Today’s blog post is not about Prince- sorry to disappoint. Instead, it features of some of the best signs I’ve encountered around the world.

In my travels, I’ve always taken an interest in the signs that businesses use to promote themselves. A sign can be a powerful motivator for a potential customer- either to buy from you or to pass on by. Or, a sign can blend into the landscape, escaping a potential customer’s attention altogether.

These nine great signs demonstrate what make a sign effective. First up, we have the St. Louis Science Center.

This sign mirrors the shape of the Science Center. It shows that design can incorporate both creativity and functionality- it’s beautiful and easy to read. Also in St. Louis is this dramatic and interesting zoo sign.

Everyone knows what a zoo is, so the designer had a little fun with the shape and presentation of this sign. However, most businesses should follow the Shrimp Factory’s example below.

This sign shows you exactly what you will get: a seafood dinner in a classy atmosphere. Another take on the restaurant sign is this Art Deco sign for the Signature Room at the Ninety-Fifth in Chicago.

Don’t you want to eat at such a cool place?

Next up, we have a little Hebrew for you.

I may not be able to read Hebrew, but I certainly know what a giant coffee cup and arrow mean. This 3-D sign perfectly describes what you can get at this business. When it really counts, though, signs should be multilingual.

Danger. Mines.

The clever building below is a carwash, which isn’t readily apparent at first glance, so the sign is essential. I really like this company, so you might want to learn more about their business model at their website, Lighthouse Carwash Solutions.

This British tube sign makes so much more sense than the American “Exit.” What could be clearer than “Way Out?”

And I’ll leave you with this interesting sign. I can’t decide if it’s good or bad, although it’s quirky. What do you think?

“We sharpen anything but your wits,” and “We fix anything but a broken heart” are certainly interesting ways to talk about the service commodities of sharpening, repairs and key-making. Does it make you want to be their customer?

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