BBC: Canadian ‘sign war’ captivates the internet. “For the past week, the Canadian town of Listowel has been embroiled in a war of words via business signs that has captivated local residents and people around the world. It started as a battle between two businesses in the Ontario town – Speedy Glass and Dairy Queen (DQ) – and has since spread to the entire town and even further afield. Locals have been joining in, creating fun mottos for their business’ sign.”
Mischiefs of Faction: What We Learned from Studying Yard Signs. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are spending more time than ever in our residential spaces, and the signs we choose to display take on new meaning. For political scientists, the central questions that have always emerged in the fall (especially during national election years) are ‘Why are people doing this?,’ and ‘What do these signs do to our neighborhoods?’” This article is about politics and political signs in general and is pretty interesting. The names of the current presidential candidates do not appear in the text of this article.
Found at the Hong Kong Free Press: Hong Kong Protest Movement Data Archive: Poster Search Engine. From the “Methodology and sourcing” section: “The Poster Search Engine allows for text inside the movement posters to be searchable. In total, 23,366 posters have been collected from two major movement publicity Telegram channels: 777文宣傳播稿件大合集 and 反送中文宣谷 covering the movement up until January 23, 2020 and January 18, 2020 respectively. The text inside the posters was OCR-extracted by Google Docs, tokenised, and indexed. OCR errors were manually corrected by a team of Cantonese-speaking human editors who understand the context.”
Thank you to Esther S. for dropping this in my email. Due to COVID-19, at https://duetocovid19.com/ , is archiving the signage used right now. From the front page: “During the coronavirus pandemic, daily life has come to a sudden standstill and businesses have had to respond. Signs on storefronts announce operational changes but these messages are also brimming over with solidarity, shared responsibility, and cautious optimism. This project attempts to document the temporary signs that have gone up across our communities. This archive features 1260 sign photos from 118 cities across the world.”
The Herald: Glasgow history project unveils digital maps to city’s past. “Ghost Signs of Glasgow is a volunteer-based project started by the Glasgow Heritage Trust which provides guided tours around the city to discover its past. While lockdown has halted all in-person tours, the group have released digital maps for people to explore Glasgow’s history through fast-disappearing signs across the city.”
University of Southern Maine: USM historian invites public to contribute to online archive of COVID-19 signs
I am not covering every single university and institution doing a coronavirus-related archive because frankly if I did it would take all my time. But I will make an exception for this one because a) it’s specific and not just a “national memory” archive and b) I’m a sucker for ephemera. University of Southern Maine: USM historian invites public to contribute to online archive of COVID-19 signs. “Some of the fleeting Maine images of COVID-19 — of light-up marquees, lawn signs and storefront warnings — are being collected in an online archive by the University of Southern Maine. The crowd-sourced archive, titled ‘Signs of the Times: Documenting Covid-19 Signs in Southern Maine,’ currently consists of about 200 photos. But creator Libby Bischof, a history professor and the executive director of the Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education at the University of Southern Maine, thinks many more signs […]
KUNR: What’s Happening To Northern Nevada’s Neon? . “Will Durham, Executive Director of The Nevada Neon Project, has some 100 signs from Elko to Vegas, Wells to Reno. He watches properties doomed for destruction, and then works with sign companies to safely remove the signs and nabs them before they’re lost. His nonprofit is planning a modern neon museum in Reno, which would bring the signs back to their full brilliance and show them off.” There’s also information in here about a project to preserve the typography of Reno, Nevada.
ChuckEgg: Cheap Digital Signage using Google Slides & Raspberry Pi ($40 per display) . I know this seems kind of weird for me to include but I would have paid a good stack more than $40 to know about this a few years ago. If you don’t have deep pockets, setting up decent digital displays in a small business is very tough. Librarians, you might want to check this out.
Now available: a digital library for graphic designer Jock Kinneir. “Jock was one of the most influential graphic designers of the 20th century, along with his one-time pupil and later business partner Margaret. Jock and Margaret’s signage system became a role model for modern road signage all over the world. … Jock’s grandchildren Simon and Anna Kinneir launched the online repository, which is expected to host a range of teaching briefs, workshops, interviews and biographical details for teachers, students or anyone interested in his life and his user-focused design methods.”