Signage, It’s All Around Us

ChicagoAs a photographer, I tend to see the world differently than some folks. I am always framing (sometimes subconsciously) the image in my mind, and looking for different angles. It can be frustrating at times, but it can also be really entertaining.

Now, pair this with my love of grammar and language, and we have a sign party! I love signs and words, and together they can make for some amazing art, even unintentionally. Signs can be huge, electric glowing monsters, or they can be simple graffiti painted on the side of a building. Either way, the visual still draws me in!

The online map service,, asked to use my image of the Italian Village Ristorante in Chicago for their Chicago map. Uh, sure! Just make sure I get a credit!! They did, and I got my credit.


Brussels AirportYou really must love the Europeans. Anything goes in Europe!

This one to the left needs no explanation. Hysterical, isn’t it? Gotta love Brussels, where this was taken.  Part of the fun of traveling is all the different signage you encounter along the way.

It’s even better when you can’t figure out what you’re looking at. Saw some of those in Paris. Not sure what I was reading, but it sure looked neat! And with the style of the Parisians, you KNOW the colors were gorgeous!

Siena, ItalyNow, just in case you need to make a phone call before you head to the Crypt. This fun one is from Siena, Italy. I took this picture back in 2004 or something, and it still makes me laugh when I see it. Good Lord, I love Siena, crypt and all.

Italy has some of my favorites. Maybe just because I spent so much time there, I dunno. These are all pretty old images from my collection. Old or not, they are still really fun to see!

Anyone who knows me knows my adoration of Snoopy. I have a 38-year-old stuffed Snoopy, who holds a prominent place in my home. My sister sent me a sweet floppy Snoopy from Japan. And I have a Snoopy tattoo, that somehow I have never regretted getting. Now, my Star Wars tat is another story. I love SW and all, but really?…I was young.

Anyhow, getting back to the Snoopster, to put it simply, I love him!

So when I saw this sign for Pizzeria Snoopy in Italy, I nearly flipped! Who wouldn’t want to eat here? I mean, if you love Snoopy, and clearly we all love pizza, so how can it ever be wrong?

I am sad to say that I never actually ate there. I have no excuse. Seems like such a shame.

Speaking of cute animals…PesciaI just love this! Someone had kittens to find homes for in Pescia. I could have taken the whole lot, but no such luck.

Some other fun displays in Italy are these: There’s this awesome painting at the entrance to the Pinocchio Park in Collodi. Then these fun political posters slapped on a wall in Lucca. And finally, this great poster inside of a parking garage in Florence.Collodi, ItalyLucca, ItalyFlorence, Italy

I was surprised at the amount of graffiti in Italy, and even Paris.

But particularly in Italy, there is some good stuff! I saw a lot of drawings on the streets of Florence, and some in Pisa. Some of it is pretty catchy and artistic. Some of it is simply someone’s point of view strewn across the side of a church or business office. I wasn’t able to shoot the massive amounts of street art I saw on the way to the heart of Paris, as I was nearly dead from jet lag and straight up exhaustion.

But I did capture some fun stuff in Italy.Florence These are a few of my favorites.  Not sure exactly what this little face is on a building in Florence, but I like its hair.

In Viareggio one day I came across this awesome painting of Big Brother. It says “Big Brother is always watching.”  Yay, good fun!

Viareggio, Italy

Then there is this one from Pisa. Someone, clearly, wasn’t on President B’s side in regards to the War. Hey, we’re all entitled to our opinion. But the fact that it is scrawled on the side of an ancient church in Pisa is another story.Pisa, Italy The thing I like most about this one is that is painted under the church’s alms deposit box. What a nice donation. I wonder why they felt the need to write it in English. I have a feeling that the American tourists probably would have gotten the point in Italian.

Uzzano, ItalylSometimes the simplest form is just fine. You can draw an arrow on it, and no matter what language the reader speaks, the sign makes perfect sense.Siena, Italy


I don’t know about you, but I totally think that dog toilets are a necessity. Here we have a sign for a dog W.C. in St. Tropez, France.

The French totally have a handle on what makes a good sign. I mean, look at this. There is literally a dog sitting on a toilet. Super!

Then in Paris they have the big, colorful, pretty stuff. I took a picture of this awesome indoor billboard inside of the Louvre. I loved it! I didn’t even know what it was all about, but I knew it made me happy to see it.
I have some great finds from the States, too, which I will save for another entry.

Just remember when you’re out walking around and don’t see anything interesting, you can always find art and beauty, and lots of humor in the signs and posters displayed around you! 🙂 Don’t let them go by unnoticed.


2 thoughts on “Signage, It’s All Around Us

  1. Cool signs. The invisible man is always on guard – right? Ah, graffiti. Those political posters are pretty neat too – I like how they used colorful veggies to look like the flag. But my favorite is the one with the gattini. Little cats search for a home. That’s great- especially the silly picture of the cat. I think I have seen that on the Internet somewhere, but not with Italian under it! 🙂

    • Don’t you just love the little cats? I found that in the window of a pet store in Pescia (your town!) one night before or after a movie. I had to take a picture of it, as it was too cute to pass up. I have since seen the pic online too, but it is much cooler as an Italian advertisement. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s