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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 Evans from UK.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - almost9

Archeology of a Sign

Archeology of a Sign [ large preview10 ]
"Advertising layers pealed back from a billboard." Photo taken by Eldon Underhill381411 from Canada.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - archeology-of-a-sign12

Cryptic Symbol

Cryptic Symbol [ large preview13 ]
"Traffic eroded glyph on a Gastown street that once indicated that bicyclists travelled along the way." Photo taken by Eldon Underhill381411 from Canada.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - cryptic-symbol15

A shop window

A shop window [ large preview16 ]
"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-window17

A Place for Everybody

A Place for Everybody [ large preview18 ]
"Everywhere we go, there’s a place for everybody." Photo taken by Franz Vanek Lemus2219 from México.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - a-place-for-everybody20

Fire and Water

Fire and Water [ large preview21 ]
"There’s always water for turning off the fire, but not always for drinking." Photo taken by Franz Vanek Lemus2219 from México.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - fire-and-water23

Come As You Are

Come As You Are [ large preview24 ]
"Found this great wall in a backalley in Sydney, Australia. Used Fuji 400 ISO 35mm film." Photo taken by Anders Goberg25 from Norway.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - come-as-you-are26

Lollapalooza Photo Booth

Lollapalooza Photo Booth [ large preview27 ]
"Digital signage for a self-serve photo booth in the ‘chill-out’ tent at a huge music festival." Photo taken by Angela Karinn28 from Canada.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - lollapalooza-photo-booth29

When your

When your [ large preview30 ]
"Sign outside Prayer Tent at Bless Fest in Lansing, Michigan." Photo taken by Christine Brandt31 from USA.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - when-your-32

Fish Bones Are Useful

Fish Bones Are Useful [ large preview33 ]
"Bone style typography." Photo taken by James Woo from Malaysia.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - fish-bones-are-useful34

Vacancy

Vacancy [ large preview35 ]
"Lake Wales – roadside signs: Permanent Vacancy." Photo taken by Angela Wilson from USA.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - vacancy36

Nu Orpheu

Nu Orpheu [ large preview37 ]
"McDonalds Restaurant and Orpheum Theatre Signs (Old & new & change) on Granville Street, Vancouver." License: License (optional). Photo taken by Eldon Underhill381411 from Canada.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - nu-orpheu39

Badger At Work

Badger At Work [ large preview40 ]
"Roadwork sign, Shackleford, Surrey." Photo taken by Marcus Kalantarian from England.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - badger-at-work41

Sign on ferry

Sign on ferry [ large preview42 ]
"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 Carow43 from Germany.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - sign-on-ferry44

Way to Vegas

Way to Vegas [ large preview45 ]
"A shot taken on a night drive to Las Vegas." Photo taken by Jelena Porovic from Canada.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - way-to-vegas46

SPECIFIED WALL – “Fly on the Wall”

SPECIFIED WALL – “Fly on the Wall” [ large preview47 ]
"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-wall48

Lost in Tierra del Fuego

Lost in Tierra del Fuego [ large preview49 ]
"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 Adrian from France.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - lost-in-tierra-del-fuego50

You Are Beautiful

You Are Beautiful [ large preview51 ]
"A completely chance sticker placed on a light post on Westminster Bridge." Photo taken by Jen Mabe from USA.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - you-are-beautiful52

Burned Memories

Burned Memories [ large preview53 ]
"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 Jensen54 from Denmark.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - burned-memories55

Sign to freedom

Sign to freedom [ large preview56 ]
"The hand sign for I love you." License: All rights reserved. Photo taken by Gareth Shapiro57 from England.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - sign-to-freedom58

One Sixty Eight

One Sixty Eight [ large preview59 ]
"Nice sign at a local pipeline company." Photo taken by Torbjorn Sandbakk from Norway.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - one-sixty-eight60

Honk if you love cupcakes

Honk if you love cupcakes [ large preview61 ]
"Honk if you love cupcakes on side of caravan." Licensed: Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic. Photo taken by Justin D Goring from United Kingdom.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - honk-if-you-love-cupcakes62

Waste removal

Waste removal [ large preview63 ]
"Decaying sign for a dump site in downtown Missoula, MT." Licensed: All rights reserved, Forrest Rowell 2010. Photo taken by Forrest Rowell787564 from USA.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - waste-removal65

La Siempreviva

La Siempreviva [ large preview66 ]
"Bogota, Columbia, 2008." Licensed: Copyright 2008 Sean Stearns. Photo taken by Sean Stearns from USA.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - la-siempreviva67

Manuha

Manuha [ large preview68 ]
"Bagan, Burma, 2007." Licensed: Copyright 2007 Sean Stearns. Photo taken by Sean Stearns from USA.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - manuha69

Cherbourg

Cherbourg [ large preview70 ]
"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 - cherbourg71

Get Out

Get Out [ large preview72 ]
"Life does not welcome you everywhere." Photo taken by Md. Zabir Hasan from Bangladesh.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - get-out73

Signed Alleyway

SIgned Alleyway [ large preview74 ]
"Discarded street signs in an alleyway in downtown Missoula, MT." Licensed: All rights reserved, Forrest Rowell 2010. Photo taken by Forrest Rowell787564 from USA.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - signed-alleyway76

Signed Alleyway BW

SIgned Alleyway BW [ large preview77 ]
"Discarded street signs in an alleyway in downtown Missoula, MT." Licensed: All rights reserved, Forrest Rowell 2010. Photo taken by Forrest Rowell787564 from USA.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - signed-alleyway-bw79

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

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

  1. 1

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

    0
  2. 2

    Philip Jensen

    June 9, 2011 10:23 pm

    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.

    1
  3. 3

    hosein feridoonzadeh

    October 25, 2012 10:30 am

    very good

    0

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