Humor in Signage – Much More Than Ticking Your Funny Bone

Even though many of us think that our lives are grim, we can make it better with a healthy dose of laughter. There is no doubt that we are living in particularly challenging times. However, even when dark clouds gather, humor can make us forget our pain. The great thing is that you don’t have to especially look out for a reason to smile. Countless signs all over the place can make you chuckle; some are deliberately funny, while in many others, the effect is entirely unintended. According to Forbes, humor can be a very effective attention-grabbing device and leads to higher recall.

Hilarity in Everyday Signs

We all understand and appreciate the importance of signage. It helps us with directions, warns us of danger, gives us instruction, helps us identify facilities and services, and encourages us to follow rules. The success of a good sign is that they are clear and concise and can be understood by all. However, some signs are very funny and can keep us chuckling long after we have moved on to other things. Some prime examples of funny signs:

Distractions can compromise your safety: While social media helps us to stay connected, it can be very addictive and distracting. A sign that proclaims, “Exit building before tweeting about it” is not only funny at the superficial level but drives home the point that you should evacuate the building in a hurry without getting distracted by anything. Similarly, a sign that says, “Pay attention to where you are walking. Your Facebook status update can wait” pokes fun with the national obsession with social media while reminding us of the hazards of walking inattentively.

Hazard warning: There is a tendency to assume that people in cars are invincible simply because they have all sorts of safety measures protecting them. However, it is important to keep in mind that there are many hazards in the world around us that even the steel cage of our cars cannot protect us from. This is very pithily pointed out in a road sign that announces. “If you hit this sign, you will hit the bridge.”

Humorous restroom signs can make you forget your urgency: We have all been on road trips with family and friends when nature starts calling. Quite soon, the need to stop for a restroom break becomes urgent, and you are desperately trying to reach a town to get relief. Unfortunately, the more you think, the more urgent your need becomes. A roadside sign that proclaims, “You will make it. Exit 32 East” with a graphic of a person in obvious distress can help to lighten the mood while giving express directions to the nearest restroom.

Conclusion 

While signs are a serious business aimed at enabling us to stay safe, follow directions, and learn of hazards, and much more, there is no reason why some of them cannot use some element of humor to make us smile. However, the humor must be easily appreciated, cause no offense, and not be done too often.