© 2009 kc! Bradshaw Do Not Litter

Do Not Litter

A kind remembrance of stencil-lettering’s past, this week’s Graffiti Friday post takes a conservationist approach to the art.

The blood-red paint drips down over the text, almost as if to suggest what horrible fate will become you if you go against the cautionary instructions. That gruesome death and dismemberment comes to all those who defy the sign’s authority. And adding to the narative… that by not completely painting over the wall, they have in essence, created more visual wall-trash, littering our vision with noise. Ah, delicious bloody irony.

I never really understood signs like these in the first place. “No parking” signs I get. No littering signs? It’s not as if someone was about to drop trash and suddenly notices a sign and sees the light. “Oh no! I better find a garbage can…” Or worse yet, does this sign imply that only in areas that are marked “do not litter” can you in fact not litter, so it automatically renders everywhere there is not a sign as correct littering zones. Maximum public signage stupidity.

I would love the opportunity to design some signage. To work with an architecture firm building up an airport system, or possibly with civic planners to re-engineer how my cities street signs work. There is such a grand potential for designers to enhance our daily lives and I could only hope that I would get that chance.

Funny that the more invested I get in the design business, the more interested I get in organizational information systems. You know the type… forms, documents, signage… things which the better they are designed, the less you see them. Quite the opposite of a CD case or a poster—made to atttract your attention with a flash of color or a bold statement. “Look at ME!” …no, these pieces are subtle, refined, and total utilitarian awesomeness.

Think of a FedEx form. You just know how to fill it out. You aren’t thinking, oooh, I really like this color purple or the font on the address field. Nope. You just get it and fill it out. And that, my friends is great information design. Simple, pure. And that is indeed very difficult to execute on… or more accurately, sell to a client.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” — Leonardo da Vinci

One Comment

  1. Steven Walker
    Posted 16 Oct ’09 at 10:49 am | #

    Almost as ironic as tagging the words: Stop Vandalism!