Normative Signs: The Poetry of "Ought"

In which the author finds beauty in how people tell other people what to do.

Notice: Not an Exit

not_an_exitThis one was sent to me by Wayne, who rightly wondered why this sign needed the word “NOTICE” at the top. I suppose that header might make sense in a context in which people are primed to expect notices to be labeled as such (perhaps to differentiate them from other kinds of signs, such as how-to signs or nameplates).

Walking on Conveyor WILL Result in Injury

conveyor_2This one is from the baggage carousel at an airport. I like the fact that it asserts so confidently that walking on the conveyor will result in bodily injury. It kind of reads like a threat.


Who, Me?

waste_containerThis is an odd one from I saw during a recent flight. It’s very prominently displayed in an airplane bathroom — an environment replete with normative signs. But, oddly, it’s presumably not directed at passengers, who presumably have no obligation to install waste containers.

Polite Notice, Dammit!

polite_noticeThis one is from Samantha Brennan. It’s posted at the University of Sheffield’s conference housing.

I like the fact that this sign actually asserts that it is, in fact, a polite notice. I guess the “thank you” at the end wasn’t enough.