This week we had the unenviable task of WALKING AROUND NYC. We had to find good and bad examples of signage, and a by-product of that was really paying attention to all of our surroundings, and what this city has to offer us. I realized there was a really great beer store right across the street that sells a lot of random indie-brewers. I just walked past it without paying attention before.
I may be too forgiving of signage, or just visited the wrong areas, but I didn’t really take issue with a lot of signs. Anything that I thought ‘that seems strange’, I sort of found reasons why they did it. However, here are a couple that stood out, for one reason or another.
This isn’t necessarily a bad logo, and I guess the more I think about ‘Crunches’ the more I get it. But I had been in the city for over a month, and saw multiple locations and I never knew what it was until someone told me. Their windows are tinted and secondary signage isn’t very large. I just kept thinking of the Nestle Crunch bar every time I saw it.
Again, this also isn’t horrible. If you read the whole thing, you can make sense of it. But why does it need to be two signs? And you have to get through the entirety of the first sign before you realize that you can in fact park there on evenings and Saturdays. I just think it could be planned more appropriately. I would guess that in New York green pertains to every day vehicles, and red with commercial vehicles, and one should watch out for the color that pertains to them. If that’s not true, than this fails even more.
Again, not a bad sign, and it does sell it look like a ‘fun’ place. But it’s a poor name for a food establishment that sells dumplings and crepes that aren’t just of the dessert variety. I walked past it and wanted dumplings. But then I saw the name ‘Just Sweets’ and was very confused. I didn’t want sugar…I wanted some filling carbs! So I went next door and got a bagel.
This is the image I decided to re-make. I admit, the suggested store names are bad. But are they functional? By comparison, absolutely.
“Hey! There’s some sweets, but there’s also other food stuff! Like dumplings! I love dumplings.”
“Well, I know not to go here to buy a vacuum cleaner, but I would LOVE some food right now!”
Again, it’s not the biggest improvement ever, but in that moment, it wouldn’t have deterred me from being a potential customer when I didn’t want something full of sugar.
I saw infinitely more examples of good signage. Everything from great business names (i.e. a pet store named ‘Who’s Your Doggy’) to great design.
I love this because it plays off of other signage we’re used to seeing as a warning (with slight variation, so we know it’s not an ‘official’ warning). Then, there’s the payoff that they have space. From my 1.5 months in New York, I’d say that’s a rare commodity. The gym at NYU has al most none of that, so it’s definitely a selling aspect, and something that gets the attention of people passing by.
Here’s my local coffee shop, The Bean. The name makes a lot of sense for a coffee shop, it’s clear, I know what I can find there. And compared to their location on Broadway near Union Square, this one has really been decorated in a way that is fitting for the East Village, or at least how I pictured the East Village. I wish I liked their coffee and ability to manage their lines more, because it is a great location.
I’m sure I’m going to find way better examples of bad ones now that this assignment is due. But, very importantly, I’ll be paying more attention and evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of signage.