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Link - by A. Abrams

Signs for Better, Signs for Worse... with sheer lunacy in between

We all hope that New Year will bring us good tidings - as we routinely look around for signs to either confirm or dampen our hopes.

Most of the signs around us are uniformly boring, but then a gem comes along: spawned by the burst of local idiocy, or perhaps, by the glimmer of unintentional brilliance!

(images by Andrew Graydon, Adam Kowalczyk, Ralph Samuelson, M. Radchenko )

Seen in a wonderful "Robot Supply & Repair Shop" in Ann Arbor, Michigan:

(photo sent by Andy)

Wall Street is broken... or at least it seems to be entirely screwed up in Wellington, New Zealand:

(photo courtesy Alexander Garside)

Sign makers have a way to discourage doomsayers:

(image via)

A guy and a girl get excited about radioactivity? -

(image via)

When you apply the sticker over your van, pay attention to where the rivets are going! -

Signs to make your commute less boring:

Suggestions in the sign below include "No Worries" and "Have a Nice Flight!". Gotta be photoshop, but who knows...

(images via)

The local Dutch urban artist decided to dispense with conventional traffic signs altogether:

(original unknown)

Finnish artist Otto Karvonen has placed his own road and traffic signs in various places around Liverpool City Centre:

(image credit: liverpoolbiennial)

Valley View Road leads... everywhere:

(photo sent by Sharyn)

(image via)

(image credit: MegaGreg1)


Warnings are for wimps

If only in a Photoshop Land:

(image credit: Mister_IQ

(images via Sally Lentz, Warren Ellis, Slurpy)

The rest of the signs appear legit...

Not allowed to do... a lot of things. These signs are seen in an abandoned amusement park in Korea (see our article)

(images credit: Jon Dunbar)

Islands of Adventures, Orlando, Florida (left) - and a sign in a taxi, Adelaide, Australia (right) -

(images via)

No smelly durians, please:

(image credit: fast-ferret)


Make your way to the toilet... slowly.

Take time to carefully read the signage, before opening that door:

(images credit: Chris Herron and Dave Cameron)


The Russian's are the best sign creators, bar none

Making the Bourne Identity Matt Damon's character hopelessly confused, this signage would play the hand of those intent on capturing him.

"Place Your Ad Here!" -

When confronted with the shop that sells both "Meat" and "Fish", they draw a fish-cow creature to illustrate the concept:

"Look at this man! he should be ASHAMED! he got drunk and broke the sapling tree that a little boy planted!..." -

"You reap what you sow: Your girl plants the seeds, breaks her back digging the ground, and provides vegetables for your table - and YOU, what are you doing in the meantime??" -
(this made me so guilty, that I couldn't eat vegetables for a week. Oh well.)

"Welcome to Orenburg!"
(A good time was had by all!) -

(image via)

Russian movie posters (I can recognize "Bridget Jones's Diary", "Scooby-Doo"...)


(image via)

"Our Saints" board is glaringly empty:

Politics are getting ugly:

(image credit: Reuters)


Notices to Relish

Enjoy the subtle lunacy of these offerings:

(image credit: Christina Kennedy)

Notice on an office microwave:

(image credit: Passive Aggressive Notes)

This is a pretty weird request:

(image credit: Passive Aggressive Notes)

There is a weird "musical knee" on the right; who knows what it's for -

(images credit: mikeontv and superlocal)

Instructions for prayer? I thought the Bible has them -

(an art project by Dylan Mortimer, more info)

(right image credit: Mike Wiskin)

Obstacle course:

(image credit: Gerben Geijteman)

A church in plight:

(image credit: Passive Aggressive Notes)

(photo sent in by Ollie Green)

It's all about water:

(left image: Sign in a building of the Oregon Health Sciences University, sent in by Idenniston)

Agree... to disagree? -

(image credit: hybernationmusic.com)

For the color-blind:

(image credit: yorkshire4)

(right image via terr-bo)

A label for the very useful enhancement to your car:

A Godzilla's Egg:

And finally, a great example of "Engrish", or rather of the interesting clash of cultures... A helpful translation list in Bejing - of (nasty) things English speakers might say to the vendors:

(image credit: Steven Buss)




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Blogger Julio Biason said...

The elevator "up for going up, down for going down" sign kinda makes sense. I've seen a lot of people pressing the "up" button thinking it means "elevator, come up" (when they are in, e.g., in the 4th floor, the elevator is in the 1st but they want go to 1st.)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

About the last one on "Engrish".. ..
it is a list which vendors should NOT say to customers.
The first three Chinese characters mean "prohibited sentences".

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Russian movie posters. Top left is Freaky Friday w/ Lindsay Lowhan and Jamie Lee Curtis. Bottom right is Shallow Hal w/ Gwyneth Paltrow and Jack Black.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone else notice that the sign for where Valley View Rd crosses Valley View Rd also points to a winery? Mystery solved!

Blogger Hat said...

The "prayer phone booth" photos are of an art project in the NYC parks by Kansas City artist Dylan Mortimer. You can find the images on his site.


Blogger normalityrelief said...

These are brilliant! Thanks for the laugh (and the photo cred of course)!


Anonymous Lizozom said...

The Russian poster with the vegetables, actually says that the girl provides HERSELF with vegetables for the entire year.
So there's nothing to feel bad about there :)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the sign of the trunk of the car; it looks like the trunk is shooting arrows at you, and you have to run away.

Anonymous Jeremiah said...

AHAHAHA! A sign from Singapore's MRT(Mass Rapid Transport) ie our subway system. No durians.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

the miner water ad, that with vegetation growing on the poster, is an advertisment of ACQUA CAPANNELLE, a famous italian mineral water, that poster was in Rome, some years ago! I've seen it live!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The trunk sign is actually labelling the pull-grip of an internal latch release, so that someone who has been locked in the trunk can open the trunk and escape.

Anonymous Tolga K. said...

The sign about pushing the button twice to save water:

I know Turkish and have seen that sign in person last summer and the translation is no mistake. It really does say to flush twice to save water.

Whether it is a mistake on the signmaker's end or something to do with the plumbing at the airport (where this sign is found), I don't know.

Blogger normalityrelief said...

@Tolga K:

I took this picture 2 1/2 years ago (indeed at the Istanbul Int'l Airport) and it's been a mystery to me ever since, UNTIL the photo was posted on this blog!

I've been informed on the photo's page what's really going on:

There isn't anything wrong with the sign. Pressing the button once flushes, pressing again stops the flushing prematurely if less than the maximum amount of water is needed.

Neat huh?!

Blogger K!P said...

@Tolga K.
First you push to flush, than you can push a second time if you want to interupt the flush cycle (if its clean enough). not that hard.

Anonymous Tolga K. said...


That's what I expected to happen when I flushed the second time, only it didn't happen. I'm guessing I used a faulty one.

Blogger Dot said...

Great stuff! That church (god's milk carton) is actually down the street from my house and they are very clever with their sign. I'll have to keep an eye out for some to send you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey cool to see that busted stock reading machine in wellington posted I picked myself a pic of that aswell now any wellington folks seen that "poon fah assn nz" sign?

Anonymous Erin said...

i don't think i've ever been in the mood for "cowfish".

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw that last sign in Beijing when I was there. It's not a list of what people might say to the vendors but rather a list of things the vendors should not say to the shoppers.


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