Signs of the times


OK so for some reason I’ve started looking at street signs. Whether it’s because someone smashed into the street sign of the road I grew up on over Christmas and having looked at it for 43 years, to see it no longer there makes me reflective, or whether it’s because I’ve finally got into Flickr and have been uploading to my stream, I don’t know but what it has highlighted is how dreadfully dull our sign designs are in the UK.

The first two are in Tarifa in Southern Spain…even the words are a bit dreamy Hope and Independence…there’s a sense of instant history, implied drama….and the fact that they’re set into the walls, a real genuine part of the fabric of the town.

Again the French offering…there’s no need to upgrade this street sign in Honfleur because there’s some sense of inherent heritage there. And a piece of screen printed or maybe handpainted metal has a certain cache too.

So to the UK……I love the first one……solid, concrete, wood, metal….character, true character but the second is the upgrade….vulgar no sense of staying power, no style and worst of all Preston is currently bowing to the weight of these new street signs….simply dire. They seem to be made from press moulded durable plastic but also seem to have a pop-in/pop-out-ness about the main cross bracey bit – gak! Even the signs which require no upgrade are being replaced…another senseless waste of money, but hey what business is it of mine?

If I get two mins this week I’ll take a photo of the Aqueduct Street sign in Preston – it MUST be on a listed list somewhere as it’s never been replaced by any of the modern abominations and has a proper, elegant font – it’s really quite beautiful.


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