It’s interesting when your perception starts changing, especially when you start seeing things that you constantly encounter in your everyday life in a different way. In this assignment, we were challenged to go around New York city and find examples of successful and unsuccessful signage. At first, it was challenging to find signs that were unsuccessful in terms of practicality and spatial orientation but when I started paying attention to every sign’s elements such as color, typography, composition, everything just fell into place.
What didn’t work:
This sign completely contradicts its name “simple” with its strange typography which is not simple at all. It took me more than 3s to read one word. Also, it seems like because of the “I” that looks like a type of pasta and the “L” that is designed to look like cheese, that this would be an Italian restaurant, but, guess what? This is actually a Japanese restaurant! Moreover, it’s funny how they use a knife and fork since it’s a Japanese restaurant and people usually use chopsticks.
I redesigned the ad using the News Cycle Fonts that I believe are very legible and communicate a sort of “simplicity” that is a very prominent characteristic of the Japanese culture. I was also inspired by the Ensō zen circle which symbolizes absolute enlightenment and the wholeness of the spirit in Japan and created thin elegant lines that kind of resemble chopsticks to build upon the image that this is a Japanese restaurant.
I also created this sign to play with simplicity not only using the classic Futura fonts but also using black and white which is so simple and at the same time so effective in terms of catching someone’s eye immediately.
Another sign that I found really confusing was this sign ⇓
First of all, there are 2 spelling mistakes. The first one is “Food” instead of “Foot” and the second one is “Rut” instead of “Rub.” It’s funny how they have another sign right under the yellow signs that have both spelling mistakes written in the correct way.
I started re-creating this sign by first thinking of eliminating the information. I think that “pain, stress and tension” could be removed since it’s obvious that when you get a back and foot rub it is because of pain and tension. I also though of removing the information for “men and women” because it is unnecessary, and changed the word “Rub” to “Massage” because it’s a more universal word that creates a softer overtone overall.
I then started thinking about the color and the fonts. Even though the designer’s intention is to catch your eye with the yellow color, it is a very unsettling color; Especially since this is a place where people go to relax. So I used white for the primary color of the sign. I started playing with some shapes with the pen tool and created this foot shape that I thought created an amusing and pleasant undertone for the sign. I used the “Coco-Mat” fonts from a greek mattress store called “Coco-Mat” which I love.
I continued experimenting with shapes and black and white and created this abstract shape which shows a figure lying on a massage bed. I used the classic “Futura” fonts.
This is another sign where really I believe no words are needed for this one.