Normative Signs: The Poetry of "Ought"

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

Look Both Ways

look_both_waysThis is an unusual one, mostly for the way it’s presented. It’s got a nice aesthetic, and could be mistaken for an art installation. It’s in the median, at a 2-stage crossing where a trail meets a busy road. To cross the road, you have to cross one lane to get to the sign, turn right and walk down the median, where there’s another similar sign that says “WAIT FOR GAP,” and then there’s an outlet from the median to let you cross the other lane. So the geometry of the crossing kind of emphasizes the warning.

The sign is located on Pottery Rd. in Toronto, where the DVP trail crosses.

Thanks to Scott Gavura for the photo.

Here’s the sign in context, in a photo taken from Google Streetview:

Lavarse Las Manos, Dude!

photo 2This sign on a bathroom door telling employees, in Spanish, to wash their hands before returning to work would be unremarkable except for the fact that it’s ONLY in Spanish, and posted in a hipster café with zero Hispanic employees or customers. Call it ironic regulatory compliance.

Thanks to Wayne Norman for the picture.


Caution — niotuaC

Check_heightNo, your eyes are not deceiving you, and I haven’t posted the picture backwards. This is how it looks in real life — written backwards, presumably so that truck drivers looking in their rear-view mirrors can read it.

The sign is posted outside the Canadian Stage Company on Berkeley Street in Toronto. Thanks to Paul Gorbould.