Public signs with a difference......
We are always trying to come up with new ideas for all kinds of signs. Our philosophy is to keep the message fresh and updated in an effort to capture the attention of the public. Stale messages tend to be ignored. The hope is that parks' users will give our signs a second look and give the message a second thought. There are lots of ways to do this; we have chosen a humourous approach. We feel that this is a very positive way to send a message.
It's hard not to mention the humourous signs that have become so popular in the District of North Vancouver without showing this image of Jonathan Kays installing one of the first "Grrr bark woof" signs on the Mosquito Creek Trail. This sign is becoming one of our most popular dog clean-up signs in the District and is setting a standard for creativity in the sign department. The sign is being seen around the world on the internet and being copied by other communities.
The staff at Parkgate Community Centre want to encourage skateboarders to walk while travelling through the grounds of the adult-oriented condominiums. The noise is overwhelming on the quaint brick pathways that run through the complex. The sign " YO.....Skater " was created using old skateboards donated to the Parks Department by the Boarding House and the RDS skate shop in North Vancouver. We hope boarders will read this sign with their favourite hip hop beat in mind and maybe, just maybe, carry their skateboards through the complex to the nearby skate park.
The sign, "Metric Beds" has caused more than a few motorists to smile and relax when stuck in winter traffic. In the spring and summer there are flowers to look at, which of course, is the whole idea. In the winter we try to protect the bulbs as much as possible with our signs. If we can help commuters smile and relax at the same time, well that's a bonus.
The gardeners were having a hard time with people walking through the plant beds to get to their favourite coffee shop. It's amazing the short cuts people will take to get their first cup of coffee. On top of that, dogs were using the beds for all kinds of dog-related stuff and so the sign shop and the gardening crew got together. A short meeting to discuss the problem was arranged between gardener, Elizabeth Kriston, Jonathan Kays and sign maker, Cameron Stewart. The new "go jump on your own bed" signs were created. The flower beds have been looking good for many seasons now!
A "No Parking" sign quickly became a "No Barking" sign in Mosquito Creek Park. Its humour was recognized by the Australian journal, Soundscape and in the fall of 2003, Soundscape published an image of the sign underneath this quote by poet Kahlil Gibran.
talkative, toleration from
and kindess from the unkind;
yet, strange, I am ungrateful to
- Kahlil Gibran
SignCraft magazine agrees.
In the September 2004 issue, the humourous park signs were featured. The author of the article recognizes that parks signs are often negative, and admires the District's ability to turn this perceived negativity into humour.
Please visit the Deer Sign page. You'll find more about our attempts to help drivers be more aware of the wildlife in our community. You will also find links to other projects and installations created in the parks sign shop at the District of North Vancouver, B.C.
Below...images from the municipality of Squamish in B.C and Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah U.S.A.
We are very encouraged that other communities are using humour to get the message out to the public.
Laugh and the world laughs with you.
Weep and you weep alone:
For this sad old earth has need of your mirth,
It has troubles enough of its own.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox 1904
-- Last updated: 9/3/2012 3:01:43 PM
Stuctures being built and maintained by the carpenters.
Sign Shop + Malcolm Lowry Marker
-- Last updated: 9/3/2012 2:59:18 PM
Park Entrance Signs
-- Last updated: 3/11/2011 8:17:38 AM
Sand blasted cedar signs that grace the entrances to our parks.
-- Last updated: 3/8/2011 9:20:24 AM
Marjorie and Frank Ashdown are honoured with the renaming of Zig Zag Park to Ashdown Park
Rudolph the Red Nose Rhino
-- Last updated: 3/7/2011 2:35:16 PM
It's working! Motorists are noticing the new deer crossing signs on major routes in the District of North Vancouver