User Generated Signage

I deliberated about posting this because of the very bad language in one of the photos. So if you’re easily offended stop reading and leave the page now…

Then I reconsidered when I realised that there’s actually an interesting point in here somewhere.

So here’s the story: my walk to work is made hazardous by dog mess liberally scattered around the pavements. I’m sure many of you suffer the same thing. Here’s some ‘fresh’ evidence from this morning:

The council try to persuade dog owners to not let this happen by giving them bins, and putting up signs.

Often the signs seem to be pretty ineffective. And like lots of the messages that we see every day they just fade into the noise and clutter of the urban environment. Over time they get defaced and fade away. If the message ever worked its impact gets diminished as it’s gradually torn away:

I was slightly shocked when I saw this on the pavement yesterday:

I was shocked mainly because of the use of very strong language. But you know what, I noticed it. I really noticed it. And I bet the people who walk their dogs round there noticed it too. Especially the c***ts who let their dogs shit on the street and don’t pick it up.

And my point is:

  • Councils have to play by the rules. They use recognised placements for their signage: lampposts, bins, etc. They use tedious ‘council-approved’ language: “fouling”, “provided”, “prosecuted”, etc.
  • ‘Consumers’ can use whatever language they like (as evidenced above). They can use whatever media they like. They’re just not bound by the same set of rules. Which means they can create much more compelling messages.

Sound like a familliar situation?

7 thoughts on “User Generated Signage”

  1. Ahh…council language, dontcha just hate it? If I email my council I get this automated response:

    Thank you for your e-mail. We aim to deal with enquiries / act on information within 10 working days of receipt.

    Oooh, and 42 days later I’m still waiting…..

  2. So interesting… And I agree that guerrilla signage works so much more effectively than the conventional examples. However, I HATE the word consumers. Why must we always ‘consume’ something? Can’t we just be viewers, participants, members of the general public etc.?

  3. Wow! I can’t remember the last time I saw dog shit on a path here in Melbourne – at least not where I live anyway.

    The are tons of people walkings dogs around here and they all have plastic supermarket bags tied onto their dog leads. Whenever the dog does a bit of business it ends up in the plastic bag.

    I can’t remember when this type of behaviour started happening, but I’m so glad it did.

  4. Perhaps it’s time to start encouraging UGLO (User Generated Law & Order)

    You see someone not cleaning after his/her dog – immediate ‘street’ punishment! (I’ll leave it to your imagination)

    You see some ugly white van with black stinky clouds coming out of it’s exhaust? shoot his tires and take him off the road!

    sounds like fun.

  5. The total lack of consideration for others by MOST dog lovers is to be deplored. In the last few years there seems to be a huge proliferation of these barking and crapping vermin on our streets with local authorities almost laughing if you make a complaint.
    I often wonder, is it the employees of these bodies who actually ‘own’ the crap machines which are causing the problem.
    I have placed a link to this page on my site and would appreciate a recip.

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