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War Against Signage

24 February 2014

The Mayor of the Sydney suburb of Mosman, Peter Abelson, has waged a ‘war against signage’ aimed at reducing the visual pollution of signage in his suburb.

by Bruce Waterson

War against signage

The first shots are being fired by rationalising road and traffic signage, removing redundant signage, and simplifying the messages on existing signage.

It would seem to be common sense that ‘information overload’ on any signage will simply lead to the signs being ignored all together.

The council are looking at standardising the look and feel of the standard street signs to a heritage green square steel post with the same font and colours to give the suburb a more ‘village’ feel.

Another initiative is doing away with ‘No Stopping’ signs where possible and replacing them with painted yellow lines on the road.

In any suburb or town around Australia and New Zealand, or in fact the world, there are many examples of advertising or branding sign clutter. This may have been the result of an ill-conceived design from the start or an evolving ‘add a sign here’ scenario over many years.

Some elements of good signage:
* A group of signs, or a signage suite, should have a consistent look and feel. Signage should represent and reinforce your brand – even if you’re brand is an inner city suburb.
* Don’t try and say too much on one sign. As is the case with Mosman’s signage, if your signage is trying to say too much then it’s likely to be ignored completely. Remember to be concise.
* Ensure your signage is legible to public and visitors. There’s no point in having signage that reinforces your brand with a clear and concise message if your target audience can’t see what it says.

The adage ‘less is best’ is a golden rule for branding any business. Keep the brand clear and the message simple.

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