How Signs Say It

Last weekend, just because the weather was nice and I wanted to mess around with my cameras, I decided to be all touristy in my own city. So I went down to the Golden Gate Bridge to take some photos of people looking at it.

I've written here about the impact of brands being, rather than just saying. But as I was walking down to the bridge, I came across a sign that demonstrated another thing that can work just as hard: support.

The sign above could have just said "NO SWIMMING." But it gives support for why you shouldn't swim (people have died here) and it explains why (rip currents) and then even makes it feel dire (by providing the phone number for emergency services, in case you forgot). Honestly, it scared the shit out of me and I didn't go anywhere near the water.

There's a reason briefs include support on them. And when that support is a compelling fact, sometimes you just want to say it in an interesting way and let the fact do the convincing.

Speaking of persuasive signs, yesterday I coincidentally came across this great analysis of "Falling Ice" signs in Chicago on Kevin Lynch's blog. Smart guy. Smart blog. Greg's got more to say about him on Tuesday.