Bad signs tick me off

Posted by Missy in Uncategorized

You know I’m a marketing professional, right? Generally speaking, we marketing folks need to pay attention to the big picture and the small details in order to manage a brand effectively. That said, we can only have so much control. A non-marketing professional might order a sign with a logo placed incorrectly. Or a well-meaning employee might make their own sign, complete with clip art, unnecessary “quotes,” and underlining, italicizing and bolding the text to make a point.

Enter one of my biggest pet peeves lately, bad signs. Recently I started snapping pics with my fun cell phone so I could share the ones that get me all twitchy. Here are some from the last month that made me laugh, or cry, enough to take a pic.

This photo comes a Chinese restaurant in South Dakota. Most restaurants offer mints for free. Not here – they wanted donations! It must be confusing to customers, so they had to place an additional (sticker) sign next to the mints stating “NOT” “FREE.” Why two sets of quotes when none are needed? Why not just tell me how much you want me to pay? And would it be okay if I took a few pennies out of the Share -a- Penny dish next to the mints and used them for my donation?

This large outdoor sign was prominently displayed on a corner near my house for about two weeks. Each time I drove by it, I chuckled. Again with the quotes. “We Do Diesels.” Does that mean what I think it means? Because it sounds dirty to me. Couldn’t they have said “Servicing Diesels?” Wait, that sounds dirty, too.

Speaking of doing things… I’ve driven by this nail salon nearly 100 times. It’s in a diverse part of town and I’ve always read the name as “doe me” or “doe may” thinking it was written in a foreign language. But last week I stopped to get gas across the street and I was looking around and *** DING DING DING,*** I realized, DO ME nails? As in “My nails will look so hot you’ll want to do me?!?!?!” Seriously. I’ve heard of people saying “These are my F&#K me pants/shoes” before… but this is a BUSINESS. Minneapolis is a progressive town, but I think this crosses the line of good taste.

Back on the road… Hey minivan driver, I’ll follow you back to the VFW to play Bingo if you use my money to buy a red sharpie and draw in the missing period on that car magnet you’re sporting. Next time, skip the periods, they are so not necessary. Better none than two out of three.

And finally, I couldn’t help but stop dead in my tracks walking into my local Best Buy. It could have been a great store-entry experience as I soaked up their positive affirmations for choosing to shop there in this tough economy. But no, the moment was destroyed because of the sign’s placement. The face of the woman in the photo was entirely blocked by the “automatic door” sign that’s permanently on the glass. Considering they have consistent brand standards across all sites, I would expect this sign failure was replicated across the country. That designer should be embarrassed. And I felt bad for the model in the photo, too. I don’t think she’ll be putting that one in her portfolio.
There are two more signs I want to share with you that have been bothering me, but I have to get pictures of them first. Stay tuned, I have a feeling this could become a regular thing around here.
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15 Responses to “Bad signs tick me off”

  1. darcie says:

    You need to join our group on Flickr called 'signs of interest' – A bunch of us send in what we see around town – and let me tell you – there are some doozies in there!

  2. Marketing Mommy says:

    This stuff drives me batty too. Check out the blog at http://www.unnecessaryquotes.com for lots more.

  3. Jeff says:

    These are great!

    I haven't looked at unnecessaryquotes yet, maybe they address this, but I think some people use quotes for emphasis… which of course is not what they're for…

  4. Marketing Mama says:

    Darcie – checked out those signs, very fun!

    Marketing Mommy – yes, that blog is one of my faves and has a permanent place of love in my blogroll. 🙂

    Jeff – you are right, lots of people use them that way, which always drives me CRAZY! 🙂

  5. Recovering Procrastinator says:

    These are great, especially with your comments. Oddly, the VFW one struck me as the most funny.

  6. LutherLiz says:

    I wonder if they meant "Do My Nails," but likely they are just dumb. So very very dumb.

  7. kristine says:

    Love it all. I used to see the Best Buy signs poorly done all the time.

  8. Amber says:

    All right, you've got me laughing! I can't wait to see the rest. 🙂

  9. Jennifer says:

    Good stuff! There's a couple fb groups for this, too. I know I posted a photo from a furniture store that said

    "Do Not Put "Anything" on this table."

    My son got a prescription bottle where he was repeatedly referred to in quotes. As in, "Give two teaspoons to "Alec" every four hours." Made me lol. My friend's cat once got one labeled Abby "Cat" [Lastname]. We said she sounded like a feline mobster.

  10. Rachel says:

    This post was hilarious! I may borrow a couple of your photos for some real-life teachable moments at school.

  11. Monique - Resident Mommy says:

    I really don't understand how quoting got so out of control. . .

  12. Sadie says:

    I thought this was going to be another "pass-it on" e-mail?

    (did I get the quotes right??)
    Most of the funny ones I see are from other states…
    I can't believe these are local!

    What would we do without camera phones?

  13. Spot On Your Pants says:

    ooo…how about Pump N Munch (gas station on the way to N. Memorial – on 36th ave)

  14. Chanda says:

    I love this post! Thanks for the laugh. Typos and misspelling are my sign pet peeves. Drives me crazy!

    Stopped by from SITS.

  15. The Adventures of Princess Zaria says:

    LOL! I like the sign at the Chinese place best. I love the signs posts. You should send these to The Late Show!



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