Fake Roadsigns
August 23, 2005 7:53 AM   Subscribe

Panos - 105 Fake road signs by 47 artists world-wide. {site is flash. best way to see them all is go through "artists"}
posted by dobbs (23 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Nice idea, too bad about the interface.
posted by signal at 8:03 AM on August 23, 2005

I like the somethingawful.com fake road signs. (Some are a little NSFW.)

But this is cool.
posted by daninnj at 8:21 AM on August 23, 2005

yeah, the idea is good but the site suffers horribly from overFlash.
posted by zardoz at 8:23 AM on August 23, 2005

stolen wholesale from b3ta
posted by NinjaPirate at 8:25 AM on August 23, 2005

neat idea, but I have to second (third, forth) the flash over design... ugh... after only a minute or two I got too fed up trying to use it to be bothered to look any further.

Flash is supposed to compliment a site, not be designed exlcusively in it.
posted by inthe80s at 8:30 AM on August 23, 2005

Yeah, the flash sucks. However, as I said in the FPP, you can just click 'artists' and then view all the signs with a next a previous (and there are little 1 2 3s for some of the artists). Ignore the rest of the site. There are some very cool signs there.
posted by dobbs at 8:36 AM on August 23, 2005

This caution sign has always made me crack up. I need one in my yard.
posted by Balisong at 8:44 AM on August 23, 2005

Although this one is pretty good, too.
posted by Balisong at 8:46 AM on August 23, 2005

Several bear signs in there. Interesting that the same concept would show up more than once.
posted by me3dia at 8:54 AM on August 23, 2005

dobbs: "There are some very cool signs there"

I disagree, the designs are, for the most part, lacklustre and take no account of their context.
Reminds me of last time I was in Italy: there were road sign stickers with a silhouette of a rhino on. Hundreds of them. No idea why. Too sticky to retrieve a memento. Couldn't ask anyone about them because I'm English and language-impaired.

Although it stings a little to admin, parts of that SomethingAwful thread were the best things I've seen so far this week.
[waits impatiently for Wednesday]
posted by NinjaPirate at 9:04 AM on August 23, 2005

The Panos Fake Roadsigns are all interesting clever designs but there's nothing about them that takes advantage of actually being roadsigns. They're essentially all designs that could be posters, just formatted as roadsigns and strapped to lamp posts.
However, it is an interesting public art project. Was it Chicago or San Francisco that had the painted cow sculptures everywhere? It's kind of like that. It's an interesting, creative way to spice up the dreary urban environment. I guess, in that respect, the roadsign is in a context. It still seems like an arbitrary choice, though.
For comparison, I looked at the SomethingAwful collection that has been raved about above and I found those to be much more interesting and played off of their context much more. In fact, some things that might not have otherwise been funny (song lyrics, movie references, etc) became funny simply by having been applied to a sign.
posted by Jon-o at 9:27 AM on August 23, 2005

Hmm. Well, I gotta disagree. I found the SA signs to be amusing but 1) they're photoshop and to me hardly comparable because of that and 2) something I could do or come up with on my own so don't impress me much beyond a smirk or laugh.

A number of the Panos signs I thought were very nice designs. Things I would approach the artist about acquiring. At the very least they made me want to look at the sites of the designers and see if they did have anything I might want to get.

Their "context" as road signs--I didn't dwell on that. To me, they went with road signs specifically because they blend. Were I to come across one on the street, I would probably think it a prank. Were I to come across many, I would start to ask myself how long these had been around before I saw them? How many different designs are there? Who is responsible? Etc. They would make me question my own ability to pay attention or tune out my environment, a topic I find interesting. Unless I saw one being installed, I would probably assume they'd been there a while and that I'd missed them. I find that interesting also (that I would assume that).

I don't want to get into a debate about 'art' (what is and what is not), but I thought many of the Panos designs served the same function as paintings in my living room or sculptures I see around town or whatever. They provoked thought. The SA signs, though amusing, did none of that (for me). Don't get me wrong, amusing's great, but with the exception of these "projects" both being "road signs", I see very little similarity between them or means to compare.

To each his own, I suppose.
posted by dobbs at 9:38 AM on August 23, 2005

I like the idea, but I agree that the signs are not taking advantage of being roadsigns. Most of them don't look like roadsigns at all. It would be a lot better if the designs used the stylized type of design that is usually used on signs.
posted by obvious at 9:49 AM on August 23, 2005

I don't understand the use of the word "panos" here. None of these photographs are panoramic.
posted by kindall at 10:39 AM on August 23, 2005

Well i disagree that none of the signs took advantage of their signage. . . The example from Arno Piroud (seventh down on left column) is excellent on those terms. It means something, and it provokes thought.

Also, some of these do look like signs on first glance, which is a fun idea on its own. . . And Mr. Piroud's sign sort of completes the thought by having a useful symbol which has not been purposed in gloss red before.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 11:36 AM on August 23, 2005

These are medicore. I wanted them to have context, look more like roadsigns, etc. The Something Awful ones are amusing, despite being photoshopped...

The best fake traffic sign I saw was in the middle of an abandonded town in the Texas panhandle that said "HER SHOES WERE FULL OF FEET."
It was a very, very strange day of travel.

posted by Specklet at 12:40 PM on August 23, 2005

I would have rather the SA signs had been real pranks and the designs from that horrible flash site simply be designs...
posted by Citizen Premier at 1:26 PM on August 23, 2005

Well, it made me chuckle, once i fgured out how to work the $%^&* navigation system of the site (thanks for the "artist" tip, BTW. Anyway, made me laugh, but of course the somethingawful link made me laugh more...
posted by TheStorm at 1:51 PM on August 23, 2005

Jon-o, I remember we had the painted cows in New York sometime during 2000.
posted by vodkadin at 2:22 PM on August 23, 2005

My two cents: The SA signs are amusing in a clever photoshop kind of way. One trick ponies. I like the Panos signs more -- and I really liked them -- precisely because they weren't so har-har; they are surreal and absurd -- and, as someone once said about true art in general, they defy paraphrase. Road signs create an expectation that useful information or instructions will be forthcoming. But how does one comply with a stylized bear face? Pure frisson!
posted by Toecutter at 4:14 PM on August 23, 2005

Seen in Ottawa, Ontario.
posted by furtive at 4:21 PM on August 23, 2005 [1 favorite]

^^ this
posted by NinjaPirate at 12:50 AM on August 24, 2005

Context of the sign is king...and while the designs are slick and uniform in presentation, the best ones seem to have some kind of play going on with their surroundings. I liked the hybrid moose/otter/rat thing with the old run down cars in front of it.

Still, points for effort, id be happy to see more of this happening in my neighborhood.
posted by rawfishy at 7:05 PM on August 24, 2005

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