Over dinner recently, a fellow Gadling blogger, some other travel lovers and I were discussing the merits of San Francisco. We decided that our favorite part about it was that it just has that special amount of “funk” that is hard to find in other cities. It’s hard to describe, but if you have been to San Francisco, you know what I am talking about.
That feeling is perfectly captured in this photo of colorful and slightly seedy signs on a main drag in the city of hills and streetcars. It’s busy, and you get the feeling that behind every sign is a story. Makes me want to go and spend a sunny day exploring.
If you calculated how much time you look at certain things when you travel, signs would be at the top of the list. Whether it’s indicating a road or a restaurant, without signs we would quite literally be lost.
In some places, there are more signs than others, and in this photo, Flickr user Luke Robinson captures a jumble of signs in Hong Kong. In fact, it’s not even clear what each sign leads to. It almost begs the question whether too many signs actually just might make you feel more lost.
What makes you enter an unfamiliar shop in a new city? An inviting window display? A big crowd (or lack thereof)? How about a funny sign like this Brooklyn shop, which advertises, “delicious free booze poured by a crazy French guy”? They had me at “delicious” and “free” wine; the French guy is just icing on the cake. It helps that the store looks cozy and friendly; the sign helps to show off their personality.
Pay close attention the next time you ride the London Underground: a group of creative commuters are shaking things up by re-labeling signage inside “the Tube.” The subversive street artists are cheering up riders by slightly modifying signs that passengers see over and over again on their daily commutes, including maps and warnings (plus a few of their own creations for good measure).
In what is probably an illegal act, the artists are making cracks at how people on public transportation tend to avoid eye contact at all costs and modifying maps using good old British humor. Click through the gallery below to see a collection of hacked signs collected on Reddit, and feel free to clue us in on others you’ve seen in the comments below!
We’ve all seen them. Street signs and directional navigation guides that appear to be sourced from The Onion, not a well planned out governmental authority. In “Signspotting 4” our friend Doug Lansky over on YouTube sourced a collection of some of the most bizarre, amusing and at times downright disturbing (we’re looking at you, headless dude) signs from around the globe and spliced them into a funny music video.
It’s worth the 1.5 minute break. For more, check out Mr. Lansky’s site over at signspotting.com