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Funny, Clever, Original 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 Funny, Clever and Original signs, that with their portrayal of and often critique on human behavior garner the attention they deserve. 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).

Funny, clever, original signs

Strictly No Ninjas

Strictly No Ninjas [ large preview2 ]
"I saw this signage while I was doing a random photowalk, at first glance I know I had to shoot it." Photo taken by Patrick Rivera3 from Manila,Philippines.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - strictly-no-ninjas4

Nuestro Sign

Nuestro Sign [ large preview5 ]
License: Copyright Akshay Sawhney. Photo taken by Akshay Sawhney6 from USA.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - nuestro-sign7

All Roads lead to Rome

All Roads lead to Rome [ large preview8 ]
"Two signposts indicating the same place, but in opposite directions." Photo taken by Clément Uster9 from France.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - all-roads-lead-to-rome10

Tired Drivers Die

Tired Drivers Die [ large preview11 ]
"There is a lot of these funny signs all over the south part of New Zealand. Took this photo with a Poloroid OneStep camera." Photo taken by Anders Goberg12 from Norway.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - tired-drivers-die13

Smoking Fish

Smoking Fish [ large preview14 ]
"It seems to mean that smoking is forbidden if you are a fish. But this is only possible in Japan!" License: GNU. Photo taken by Antonia Guerra Bravo1815 from Spain.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - smoking-fish16

Un Dressed Dog

Un Dressed Dog [ large preview17 ]
"You have to go properly dressed to take a walk for this place, including the dog. Please dress your dog!." License: GNU. Photo taken by Antonia Guerra Bravo1815 from Spain.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - un-dressed-dog19

On Display at the Zoo

On Display at the Zoo [ large preview20 ]
"Sign in the Cat/Monkey house at Potter Park Zoo in Michigan." Photo taken by Christine Brandt21 from USA.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - on-display-at-the-zoo22

Where is Cognac?

Where is Cognac? [ large preview23 ]
"Cognac’s direction sign in both way. Don’t Seems to be quite obvious? Should be alcool…." Licensed: All copyrights: Vincent Zaugg. Photo taken by Vincent Zaugg24 from Switzerland.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - where-is-cognac25

Where open?

Where open? [ large preview26 ]
"It was my first time going to Boracay last year, so me and my friends strolled around when I saw this signage and thought of it to be funny so I took a picture." Photo taken by Sonny Gabutero27 from Philippines.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - where-open28

Not my mother

Not my mother [ large preview29 ]
"On the way to interlaken, switzerland, In the picture boy is saying “for my mother” and the girl is shouting “not my mother”, its in german." Photo taken by Tuhin Barua30 from India.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - not-my-mother31


Smile [ large preview32 ]
"Happy people only." Photo taken by Melissa Henry from USA.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - smile33

Stockholm optometrist signage

Stockholm optometrist signage [ large preview34 ]
"Clever signage for an optometrist in Stockholm, Sweden." License: License (Creative Commons). Photo taken by Julia Birks35 from Australia.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - stockholm-optometrist-signage36

Do NOT Forget Your Wife

Do NOT Forget Your Wife [ large preview37 ]
"This was taken somewhere in Colorado at an RV Park." Photo taken by Devin Clark38 from USA.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - do-not-forget-your-wife39

Parking for dogs

Parking for dogs [ large preview40 ]
"This sign, written in Romanian, is on a pub’s wall, next to the entrance. Clients with 4-paws friends can “park” their dogs outside, in this special place, with water supplies and a hanger, to attach the dog’s leash. The picture is taken in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.." Photo taken by Catrinel Gheorghiu from Romania.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - parking-for-dogs41

This is a door

This is a door [ large preview42 ]
"sigh showing a door." Licensed: all rights reserved. Photo taken by Paul van Roekel43 from Netherlands.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - this-is-a-door44

Don’t Be Ugly

Don’t Be Ugly [ large preview45 ]
"It was captured in my city on our local garbage bin… I thought the words/meaning were awesome!" Photo taken by Christine Lobsinger from Canada.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - dont-be-ugly46

Buy One, Second Free

Buy One, Second Free [ large preview47 ]
"Photo taken at cemetery the morning of my mother’s funeral. She would have laughed." Photo taken by William Ferrall48 from USA.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - buy-one-second-free49

Wyatt’s Confusion

Wyatt’s Confusion [ large preview50 ]
"SCCC 2010 graphic design student, Wyatt stands amongst many directional signs, slightly puzzled." Photo taken by Chelsey Scheffe51 from USA.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - wyatts-confusion52

Lonesome Cow Boy

Lonesome Cow Boy [ large preview53 ]
"Stuart Highway Australia." Photo taken by Nama Saya Manu54 from France.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - lonesome-cow-boy55

Can gift signage

Can gift signage [ large preview56 ]
"Another creative idea about gift wrapping in a can–for a change!" Photo taken by Febrina Tanghal from Philippines.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - can-gift-signage57


Box [ large preview58 ]
"The photo was taken in the home box to receive an enconmenta that came in a box!" Photo taken by Francielle Rodrigues Carvalho from Brazil.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - box59

Exit sign on window

Exit sign on window [ large preview60 ]
"An emergency exit sign on a window." Photo taken by Michael Evans61 from USA.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - exit-sign-on-window62

Dental Darwin

Dental Darwin [ large preview63 ]
"Dentist advertising sign in Chuy (border city between Uruguay and Brazil, brazilian side)." Licensed: Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives. Photo taken by Gabriela Costoya64 from Uruguay.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - dental-darwin65

Devoid Context

Devoid Context [ large preview66 ]
"Found on a corner of a street populated by out-of-business shacks, this remaining sign acts as a graphic enigma." Licensed: © Tatsuma Watson. Photo taken by Tatsuma Watson from USA.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - devoid-context67

Sounds strong ?

Sounds strong ? [ large preview68 ]
"In Lisboa (PT), in a small cafe, this sign was very interesting, because it’s shows not only the message of the alert but the sounds that you can have if you push on the button." Licensed: License (Attribution) free but if it used just notified by Thomas Nicot. Photo taken by nicot69 from France.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - sounds-strong-70

No One Yet

No One Yet [ large preview71 ]
"I found this unique sign in the small town of Clinton, we were going to drive right through but couldn’t help but stop for photos. There were so many amazing sights there, each with a ton of personality." Photo taken by Megan Leppington7572 from Canada.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - no-one-yet73

Special Water

Special Water [ large preview74 ]
"This funny sign was attached to an old withered palace of sorts. It was labelled as Bucking Ham Palace. Really neat place, I just loved it!" Photo taken by Megan Leppington7572 from Canada.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - special-water76

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:


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

  1. 1

    It’s about a picture in funny signage in France : Cognac
    The blue on the first pannel is for highway et on the other one it’s D = départementale so it’s a little road, certainly longer but passing through campaign, it’s up to you to choose velocity or visit. So you see, it’s not so ridiculous. Everywhere you have to try to understand the signs.


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