The Post Post – Published: 14 Sep 2006

an american sign post So. I wanted to talk about signposts today; in fact, more specifically the post that holds up the sign.

We have nice ones here in the UK. They point to the Museum or the Halal Abattoir and are sturdy cast iron things you could chain a pet elephant to while you go into a shop to buy a hat.

Not so across the pond. Look at this sorry picture.

Why do Americans and Canadians (shame on them!) consider this super-economy-B&Q-style-no-budget-shelving-system-leftover an acceptable baton to use to bear a notice?

You see these used everywhere over there in the US. I guess it’s a product of their culture. “I don’t never use that sign, so I ain’t going to pay for no fancy post. Etc.”

For the love of Philippe Starck, get some self re-cocking-spect.

A British signpost

A British signpost

This is no post for a sign. Certainly not one you’d want in a public place. Anyone with half an ounce of civic pride would reject this post on the grounds that it looks like a very large pencil holder.

A post like this says, ‘in this town we’ve given up.’ It also says, ‘in this town the mayor sleeps in a tracksuit with bits of breakfast stuck to it and keeps wearing it to go to council meetings.’

It says too, ‘we used to have park here but now it’s a place where the government tests chemical weapons on cats. Our school is also the local Burger King.’

A Parisian signpost

A Parisian signpost

This is the type of post I’d expect to see somewhere in the frigid north, in a polytechnic car park, with a sign attached saying, ‘please mind the sick.’

Come on Americans. And come on Canadians too, you have aesthetics and should know better. Sort out your signposts. Street furniture, much like stationery, represents who you are to the world and where you want to go.

By that token, you clearly want to go and support a shelf in your dad’s garage, one that has some tubs of putty on it and an old swing-ball.



Dogs Must Be Carried‘ left this comment on 14 Oct 06
Aren’t they designed that way so that drivers don’t kill themselves when they crash their cars into them?
Tim‘ left this comment on 26 Sep 06
I think a practical solution for Americans and Canadians (and I do hope they all appreciate me putting some thought into their problems) would be to plant some ivy at the bottom of each post and let it grow, using the holes to cling on.They might actaully end up looking very attractive. Someone would obviously have to keep it trimmed near the top, otherwise the sign might become obscured.

A visitor‘ left this comment on 19 Sep 06
I always assumed that they’d looked at the trade-off between strength and cost, and decided that rather than having a stiff post which would probably survive a collision with a car (but if it didn’t would be expensive to replace), the signpost designers had decided to go with the option that if someone looks at it funny it needs to be changed – but is so cheap to produce that it doesn’t matter.
A visitor‘ left this comment on 17 Sep 06
I would just like to say that it’s quite practical to have sign posts with holes in them. They don’t look nice but we save a lot of finite resources like steel and iron so that they can be used to make other more important things. I think globally there is a shortage of these materials so I would rather have a sign post with holes than no post at all.
Tim‘ left this comment on 15 Sep 06
Those aren’t pictures of sign posts, you ninny. Them’s pictures of Jesus.

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