Funny, Clever, Original Signs Part 1

About The Author

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

This gallery presents the collection of photos submitted for the World Of Signage Photo Contest 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 preview ]
“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 Rivera from Manila,Philippines.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - strictly-no-ninjas

Nuestro Sign

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

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - nuestro-sign

All Roads lead to Rome

All Roads lead to Rome [ large preview ]
“Two signposts indicating the same place, but in opposite directions.” Photo taken by Clément Uster from France.

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

Tired Drivers Die

Tired Drivers Die [ large preview ]
“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 Goberg from Norway.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - tired-drivers-die

Smoking Fish

Smoking Fish [ large preview ]
“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 Bravo from Spain.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - smoking-fish

Un Dressed Dog

Un Dressed Dog [ large preview ]
“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 Bravo from Spain.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - un-dressed-dog

On Display at the Zoo

On Display at the Zoo [ large preview ]
“Sign in the Cat/Monkey house at Potter Park Zoo in Michigan.” Photo taken by Christine Brandt from USA.

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

Where is Cognac?

Where is Cognac? [ large preview ]
“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 Zaugg from Switzerland.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - where-is-cognac

Where open?

Where open? [ large preview ]
“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 Gabutero from Philippines.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - where-open

Not my mother

Not my mother [ large preview ]
“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 Barua from India.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - not-my-mother


Smile [ large preview ]
“Happy people only.” Photo taken by Melissa Henry from USA.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - smile

Stockholm optometrist signage

Stockholm optometrist signage [ large preview ]
“Clever signage for an optometrist in Stockholm, Sweden.” License: License (Creative Commons). Photo taken by Julia Birks from Australia.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - stockholm-optometrist-signage

Do NOT Forget Your Wife

Do NOT Forget Your Wife [ large preview ]
“This was taken somewhere in Colorado at an RV Park.” Photo taken by Devin Clark from USA.

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

Parking for dogs

Parking for dogs [ large preview ]
“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-dogs

This is a door

This is a door [ large preview ]
“sigh showing a door.” Licensed: all rights reserved. Photo taken by Paul van Roekel from Netherlands.

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

Don’t Be Ugly

Don’t Be Ugly [ large preview ]
“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-ugly

Buy One, Second Free

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

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

Wyatt’s Confusion

Wyatt’s Confusion [ large preview ]
“SCCC 2010 graphic design student, Wyatt stands amongst many directional signs, slightly puzzled.” Photo taken by Chelsey Scheffe from USA.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - wyatts-confusion

Lonesome Cow Boy

Lonesome Cow Boy [ large preview ]
“Stuart Highway Australia.” Photo taken by Nama Saya Manu from France.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - lonesome-cow-boy

Can gift signage

Can gift signage [ large preview ]
“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-signage


Box [ large preview ]
“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 - box

Exit sign on window

Exit sign on window [ large preview ]
“An emergency exit sign on a window.” Photo taken by Michael Evans from USA.

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

Dental Darwin

Dental Darwin [ large preview ]
“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 Costoya from Uruguay.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - dental-darwin

Devoid Context

Devoid Context [ large preview ]
“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-context

Sounds strong ?

Sounds strong ? [ large preview ]
“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 nicot from France.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - sounds-strong-

No One Yet

No One Yet [ large preview ]
“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 Leppington from Canada.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - no-one-yet

Special Water

Special Water [ large preview ]
“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 Leppington from Canada.

Wayfinding and Typographic Signs - special-water

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: