It’s a Sign I Tell You, a Sign

It must be hard to make a good sign. Professional sign makers all across the country, all across the world, have botched up otherwise perfectly good signs with some single silly mistake.  A misspelled word, poor placement, an incorrect font size, a bad color. If the pros are subject to these kinds of guffaws, think what the poor amateur must go through. You don’t even have to think actually. Just read the signs!

Summer is here in all its glory. And what do we do in summer? We party! There are family reunions, high school graduation parties, block parties, church festivals, and nationality days. Summer is also the time for garage sales and yard sales. Every one of these events is marked with a hunk of poster board stapled to a utility pole and with a colorful helium-filled balloon attached to a corner.

Signs are great ideas. Before the days of GPS how else did we get from Point A to Stop 2. And then, since most people knew their relatives, local parks, classmates, and neighbors, signs didn’t have to say that much. A boldly printed “Penny’s Party” with a good size arrow pointing the way mounted at a critical intersection was enough to do the trick.

Today they are still good ideas, even in the presence of GPS. Unfortunately, they aren’t so well executed anymore. Instead of a poster board and a Sharpee, one is more apt to come across a sign printed on a home computer. That means small paper that somebody thought would look good with a cute graphic which took up half of the available space so that little writing can be printed and/or seen and then printed on an ink jet printer whose print bleeds off the page after the first morning’s dew. I saw one sign whose “owner” thought it a good idea to highlight all of the words on the sign. After it rained, the only thing on the sign was a series of yellow lines.

Occasionally someone will make a good sign. So good is it that the person who put it up leaves it up. There is a sign at the bottom of the hill I live on that says “Garage Sale, Saturday, 9-1.” It’s been there for 6 weeks.

There is one sign in the area that I particularly like. It’s big enough to see form the road and the font is big enough to read from the road. It’s in eye-catching colors of a white font on a dark blue background. There is an arrow printed right on the sign, not an extra tacked above or below it waiting to fall off on its own accord. It’s such a good sign I’d like to follow it and congratulate the sign maker. Except I don’t know who or what to look for. You see, the only word on that large, well thought out, very visible sign is “Event.”

But then, if you’re one of those who have been invited (whom have been invited?) (umm…If you’re one of the invitees), do you really need much more information than that? Naw, probably not.

Now, that’s what I think. Really. How ‘bout you?

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