Abstract and Weird Signs Part 1

This gallery presents the collection of photos submitted for the World Of Signage Photo Contest1 by the readers of Smashing Magazine. We received over 2,500+ photos from our readers across the globe, and present a selection of the most interesting photos in the overview below.

The topic of this gallery is Abstract and Weird signs, i.e. signs that attract attention with their atypical look. Please notice: each photo has a certain license, provided in the description of the photo. Before using the images for private or commercial projects, make sure that the license allows you to do so. Also, you can click on the photos for a larger preview.

Please feel free to take a look at other submissions as well (links to other galleries are listed in the end of this gallery).

Abstract and Weird Photos / Signs

No Limits In Art

No Limits In Art [ large preview2 ]
"The very phrase was placed on a floor, it was so catchy I made it as an album primary picture in a social network site." Photo taken by Patrick Rivera3 from Manila,Philippines.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - no-limits-in-art4

The Air That We Breathe

The Air That We Breathe [ large preview5 ]
"Close-up portion of a sign indicating the presence of an air outlet." Photo taken by Dylan Williams6 from UK.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - the-air-that-we-breathe7

Almost

Almost [ large preview8 ]
"This word forms part of the etching on the floor of McGonagall’s walk in Dundee, Scotland." Photo taken by Aled Evans9 from UK.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - almost10

Archeology of a Sign

Archeology of a Sign [ large preview11 ]
"Advertising layers pealed back from a billboard." Photo taken by Eldon Underhill401512 from Canada.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - archeology-of-a-sign13

Cryptic Symbol

Cryptic Symbol [ large preview14 ]
"Traffic eroded glyph on a Gastown street that once indicated that bicyclists travelled along the way." Photo taken by Eldon Underhill401512 from Canada.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - cryptic-symbol16

A shop window

A shop window [ large preview17 ]
"Many signs about the cost of products at A shop window." Photo taken by Miss Tanida Pupatarapong from Thailand.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - a-shop-window18

A Place for Everybody

A Place for Everybody [ large preview19 ]
"Everywhere we go, there’s a place for everybody." Photo taken by Franz Vanek Lemus2320 from México.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - a-place-for-everybody21

Fire and Water

Fire and Water [ large preview22 ]
"There’s always water for turning off the fire, but not always for drinking." Photo taken by Franz Vanek Lemus2320 from México.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - fire-and-water24

Come As You Are

Come As You Are [ large preview25 ]
"Found this great wall in a backalley in Sydney, Australia. Used Fuji 400 ISO 35mm film." Photo taken by Anders Goberg26 from Norway.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - come-as-you-are27

Lollapalooza Photo Booth

Lollapalooza Photo Booth [ large preview28 ]
"Digital signage for a self-serve photo booth in the ‘chill-out’ tent at a huge music festival." Photo taken by Angela Karinn29 from Canada.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - lollapalooza-photo-booth30

When your

When your [ large preview31 ]
"Sign outside Prayer Tent at Bless Fest in Lansing, Michigan." Photo taken by Christine Brandt32 from USA.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - when-your-33

Fish Bones Are Useful

Fish Bones Are Useful [ large preview34 ]
"Bone style typography." Photo taken by James Woo35 from Malaysia.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - fish-bones-are-useful36

Vacancy

Vacancy [ large preview37 ]
"Lake Wales – roadside signs: Permanent Vacancy." Photo taken by Angela Wilson from USA.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - vacancy38

Nu Orpheu

Nu Orpheu [ large preview39 ]
"McDonalds Restaurant and Orpheum Theatre Signs (Old & new & change) on Granville Street, Vancouver." License: License (optional). Photo taken by Eldon Underhill401512 from Canada.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - nu-orpheu41

Badger At Work

Badger At Work [ large preview42 ]
"Roadwork sign, Shackleford, Surrey." Photo taken by Marcus Kalantarian from England.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - badger-at-work43

Sign on ferry

Sign on ferry [ large preview44 ]
"This sign was found on a ferry in ireland crossing the shannon. No idea what it actually says or warns for." Licensed: creative commons. Photo taken by Ingo Carow45 from Germany.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - sign-on-ferry46

Way to Vegas

Way to Vegas [ large preview47 ]
"A shot taken on a night drive to Las Vegas." Photo taken by Jelena Porovic from Canada.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - way-to-vegas48

SPECIFIED WALL – “Fly on the Wall”

SPECIFIED WALL – “Fly on the Wall” [ large preview49 ]
"On the photo is a sign, which is used as a decoration for wall. The sign is substitute for object which it represent.Nothing more. Sign loses its original meaning." Photo taken by Lucia Flendrovska from Slovakia.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - specified-wall-fly-on-the-wall50

Lost in Tierra del Fuego

Lost in Tierra del Fuego [ large preview51 ]
"The trail signs in Argentinian Tierra del Fuego National Park are confusing. It seems they have grown with the trees and switched directions at the same time.." License: CC NC BY SA. Photo taken by Adrian52 from France.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - lost-in-tierra-del-fuego53

You Are Beautiful

You Are Beautiful [ large preview54 ]
"A completely chance sticker placed on a light post on Westminster Bridge." Photo taken by Jen Mabe55 from USA.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - you-are-beautiful56

Burned Memories

Burned Memories [ large preview57 ]
"This was taken when I was using my friend (talis.dk)’s macro lens, it’s a burned down piece of newspaper I found in an empty fireplace." Photo taken by Philip Jensen58 from Denmark.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - burned-memories59

Sign to freedom

Sign to freedom [ large preview60 ]
"The hand sign for I love you." License: All rights reserved. Photo taken by Gareth Shapiro61 from England.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - sign-to-freedom62

One Sixty Eight

One Sixty Eight [ large preview63 ]
"Nice sign at a local pipeline company." Photo taken by Torbjorn Sandbakk64 from Norway.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - one-sixty-eight65

Honk if you love cupcakes

Honk if you love cupcakes [ large preview66 ]
"Honk if you love cupcakes on side of caravan." Licensed: Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic. Photo taken by Justin D Goring67 from United Kingdom.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - honk-if-you-love-cupcakes68

Waste removal

Waste removal [ large preview69 ]
"Decaying sign for a dump site in downtown Missoula, MT." Licensed: All rights reserved, Forrest Rowell 2010. Photo taken by Forrest Rowell878470 from USA.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - waste-removal71

La Siempreviva

La Siempreviva [ large preview72 ]
"Bogota, Columbia, 2008." Licensed: Copyright 2008 Sean Stearns. Photo taken by Sean Stearns7673 from USA.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - la-siempreviva74

Manuha

Manuha [ large preview75 ]
"Bagan, Burma, 2007." Licensed: Copyright 2007 Sean Stearns. Photo taken by Sean Stearns7673 from USA.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - manuha77

Cherbourg

Cherbourg [ large preview78 ]
"Taken from a map of the Isle of White showing 70 miles from that point to Cherbourg amounst other places around the globe." Photo taken by Martyn Jeffery from UK.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - cherbourg79

Get Out

Get Out [ large preview80 ]
"Life does not welcome you everywhere." Photo taken by Md. Zabir Hasan81 from Bangladesh.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - get-out82

Signed Alleyway

SIgned Alleyway [ large preview83 ]
"Discarded street signs in an alleyway in downtown Missoula, MT." Licensed: All rights reserved, Forrest Rowell 2010. Photo taken by Forrest Rowell878470 from USA.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - signed-alleyway85

Signed Alleyway BW

SIgned Alleyway BW [ large preview86 ]
"Discarded street signs in an alleyway in downtown Missoula, MT." Licensed: All rights reserved, Forrest Rowell 2010. Photo taken by Forrest Rowell878470 from USA.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - signed-alleyway-bw88

Thank you!

Thanks to all participants for taking their time for preparing and sending submissions for the contest and creating a unique and diversified gallery presented above. We truly appreciate and respect your efforts and your time, folks!

Further Galleries

You may want to take a look at other contest galleries, too:

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/08/16/the-world-of-signage-photo-contest-join-in-and-win-an-slr-camera/
  2. 2 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/no-limits-in-art/full_no-limits-in-art.jpg
  3. 3 http://madaxz.vox.com/
  4. 4 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/no-limits-in-art/full_no-limits-in-art.jpg
  5. 5 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/the-air-that-we-breathe/full_the-air-that-we-breathe.jpg
  6. 6 http://flavors.me/hiccup
  7. 7 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/the-air-that-we-breathe/full_the-air-that-we-breathe.jpg
  8. 8 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/almost/full_almost-etched-on-stone-floor.jpg
  9. 9 http://www.flickr.com/aledcoe
  10. 10 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/almost/full_almost-etched-on-stone-floor.jpg
  11. 11 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/archeology-of-a-sign/full_archeology-of-a-sign.jpg
  12. 12 http://www.flickr.com/photos/eldonu/
  13. 13 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/archeology-of-a-sign/full_archeology-of-a-sign.jpg
  14. 14 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/cryptic-symbol/full_cryptic-symbol.jpg
  15. 15 http://www.flickr.com/photos/eldonu/
  16. 16 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/cryptic-symbol/full_cryptic-symbol.jpg
  17. 17
  18. 18
  19. 19 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/a-place-for-everybody/full_a-place-for-everybody.jpg
  20. 20 http://www.flickr.com/franzvanek
  21. 21 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/a-place-for-everybody/full_a-place-for-everybody.jpg
  22. 22 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/fire-and-water/full_fire-and-water.jpg
  23. 23 http://www.flickr.com/franzvanek
  24. 24 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/fire-and-water/full_fire-and-water.jpg
  25. 25 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/come-as-you-are/full_come_as_you_are.jpg
  26. 26 http://www.mediumwideshot.com
  27. 27 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/come-as-you-are/full_come_as_you_are.jpg
  28. 28 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/lollapalooza-photo-booth/full_photolab.jpg
  29. 29 http://www.angelakarinn.com
  30. 30 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/lollapalooza-photo-booth/full_photolab.jpg
  31. 31 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/when-your-/full_livingonaprayer.jpg
  32. 32 http://picasaweb.google.com/108984606070228465595
  33. 33 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/when-your-/full_livingonaprayer.jpg
  34. 34 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/fish-bones-are-useful/full_fish-bones-are-useful.jpg
  35. 35 http://vitalwills.com
  36. 36 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/fish-bones-are-useful/full_fish-bones-are-useful.jpg
  37. 37 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/vacancy/full_vacancy.jpg
  38. 38 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/vacancy/full_vacancy.jpg
  39. 39 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/nu-orpheu/full_nu-orpheu.jpg
  40. 40 http://www.flickr.com/photos/eldonu/
  41. 41 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/nu-orpheu/full_nu-orpheu.jpg
  42. 42 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/badger-at-work/full_badger-at-work.jpg
  43. 43 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/badger-at-work/full_badger-at-work.jpg
  44. 44 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/sign-on-ferry/full_sign-on-ferry.jpg
  45. 45 http://www.icarow.de
  46. 46 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/sign-on-ferry/full_sign-on-ferry.jpg
  47. 47 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/way-to-vegas/full_way-to-vegas.jpg
  48. 48 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/way-to-vegas/full_way-to-vegas.jpg
  49. 49 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/specified-wall-fly-on-the-wall/full_specified_wall-_fly_on_the_wall.jpg
  50. 50 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/specified-wall-fly-on-the-wall/full_specified_wall-_fly_on_the_wall.jpg
  51. 51 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/lost-in-tierra-del-fuego/full_lost-in-tierra-del-fuego.jpg
  52. 52 http://www.fotopedia.com/users/adrian
  53. 53 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/lost-in-tierra-del-fuego/full_lost-in-tierra-del-fuego.jpg
  54. 54 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/you-are-beautiful/full_you_are_beautiful.jpg
  55. 55 http://www.jenmabe.com
  56. 56 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/you-are-beautiful/full_you_are_beautiful.jpg
  57. 57 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/burned-memories/full_burned-memories.jpg
  58. 58 http://www.juicylight.com
  59. 59 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/burned-memories/full_burned-memories.jpg
  60. 60 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/sign-to-freedom/full_sign-to-freedom.jpg
  61. 61 http://www.garethshapiro.com
  62. 62 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/sign-to-freedom/full_sign-to-freedom.jpg
  63. 63 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/one-sixty-eight/full_one-sixty-eight.jpg
  64. 64 http://www.sandbakkdesign.no
  65. 65 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/one-sixty-eight/full_one-sixty-eight.jpg
  66. 66 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/honk-if-you-love-cupcakes/full_honk-if-you-love-cupcakes.jpg
  67. 67 http://justingoring.net
  68. 68 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/honk-if-you-love-cupcakes/full_honk-if-you-love-cupcakes.jpg
  69. 69 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/waste-removal/full_rowell_waste_removal.jpg
  70. 70 http://forrestrowell.wordpress.com/
  71. 71 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/waste-removal/full_rowell_waste_removal.jpg
  72. 72 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/la-siempreviva/full_la_siempreviva.jpg
  73. 73 http://seanjtravels.tumblr.com
  74. 74 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/la-siempreviva/full_la_siempreviva.jpg
  75. 75 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/manuha/full_manuha.jpg
  76. 76 http://seanjtravels.tumblr.com
  77. 77 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/manuha/full_manuha.jpg
  78. 78 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/cherbourg/full_cherbourg.jpg
  79. 79 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/cherbourg/full_cherbourg.jpg
  80. 80 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/get-out/full_get-out.jpg
  81. 81 http://dizab.com/
  82. 82 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/get-out/full_get-out.jpg
  83. 83 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/signed-alleyway/full_rowell_signed_alleyway.jpg
  84. 84 http://forrestrowell.wordpress.com/
  85. 85 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/signed-alleyway/full_rowell_signed_alleyway.jpg
  86. 86 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/signed-alleyway-bw/full_rowell_signed_alleyway_bw.jpg
  87. 87 http://forrestrowell.wordpress.com/
  88. 88 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/uploader/images/signs/signed-alleyway-bw/full_rowell_signed_alleyway_bw.jpg
  89. 89 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/abstract-and-weird-signs-part-1/
  90. 90 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/abstract-and-weird-signs-part-2/
  91. 91 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/advertising-and-promotional-signs-part-1/
  92. 92 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/advertising-branding-and-promotional-signs-part-2/
  93. 93 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/corporate-logos-and-brand-signs/
  94. 94 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/forbidden-signs-part-1/
  95. 95 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/forbidden-signs-part-2/
  96. 96 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/funny-clever-original-signs-part-1/
  97. 97 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/funny-clever-original-signs-part-2/
  98. 98 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/funny-clever-original-signs-part-3/
  99. 99 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/graffiti-and-hand-written-signs-part-1/
  100. 100 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/graffiti-and-hand-written-signs-part-2/
  101. 101 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/hotel-and-restaurant-signs-part-1/
  102. 102 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/hotel-and-restaurant-signs-part-2/
  103. 103 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/hotel-and-restaurant-signs-part-3/
  104. 104 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/information-and-instructional-signs-part-1/
  105. 105 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/information-and-instructional-signs-part-2/
  106. 106 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/library-signs/
  107. 107 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/monument-and-memorial-signs/
  108. 108 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/museum-signs-part-1/
  109. 109 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/museum-signs-part-2/
  110. 110 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/public-and-state-building-signs-part-1/
  111. 111 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/public-and-state-building-signs-part-2/
  112. 112 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/road-and-street-signs-part-1/
  113. 113 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/road-and-street-signs-part-2/
  114. 114 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/road-and-street-signs-part-3/
  115. 115 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/road-and-street-signs-part-4/
  116. 116 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/road-and-street-signs-part-5/
  117. 117 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/school-and-park-signs/
  118. 118 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/shop-and-store-signs-part-1/
  119. 119 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/shop-and-store-signs-part-2/
  120. 120 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/shop-and-store-signs-part-3/
  121. 121 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/street-and-wayfinding-signs-part-1/
  122. 122 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/street-and-wayfinding-signs-part-2/
  123. 123 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/street-and-wayfinding-signs-part-3/
  124. 124 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/street-and-wayfinding-signs-part-4/
  125. 125 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/train-and-airport-signs-part-1/
  126. 126 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/train-and-airport-signs-part-2/
  127. 127 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/underground-signs/
  128. 128 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/warning-and-danger-signs-part-1/
  129. 129 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/warning-and-danger-signs-part-2/
  130. 130 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/warning-and-danger-signs-part-3/
  131. 131 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/warning-and-danger-signs-part-4/
  132. 132 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/warning-and-danger-signs-part-5/
  133. 133 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wayfinding-in-buildings-signs-part-1/
  134. 134 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wayfinding-in-buildings-signs-part-2/
  135. 135 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wc-and-restroom-signs-part-1/
  136. 136 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wc-and-restroom-signs-part-2/
  137. 137 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/welcome-signs/
  138. 138 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/other-signs-part-1/
  139. 139 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/other-signs-part-2/

Katrín Svana Eyþórsdóttir is a media artist and designer from Iceland. You can follow her on twitter.

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  1. 1

    Some great compositions here, really like the ‘you are beautiful’ one taken at the Big Ben (?) and the fly on the wall

  2. 2

    Hi,

    about half a year later I find this post. Right now I cannot begin to explain how happy I am, it really fills me with joy to find my picture (Burned Memories) on Smashing Magazine.

    In the future when you post pictures like this you should consider mailing the photographer. I for once feel very lucky and happy to have found this as I love the beautiful stuff published on this site.

    All but love from me, Philip.

  3. 3

    hosein feridoonzadeh

    October 25, 2012 10:30 am

    very good

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