Last weekend I found myself ambling through Southwark, walking off a large lunch. As I turned the corner of the street I saw this great sign fixed to the side of a building:
Being a lover of typography and signs that fascinate and intrigue, I couldn’t help but take a picture. This started me thinking about how the language of street signs has changed over the years and how much ‘street furniture‘ contributes to the defacto visual identity of the UK.
I got home and, thinking that there might be a blog post in this I popped ‘commit no nuisance’ into Google. The results that came back were from all over the Web: a comedian whose URL is the same, a Flickr group of similar signs from around the world, a couple of blog posts about the very same sign I had taken a picture of, and even a YouTube video.
My thoughts of writing a blog post went out the window as I dived into the search results, in particular the Flickr group. Within minutes, I had viewed all of the photos in the ‘commit no nuisance’ pool. I discovered from the comment stream that the sign is the Victorian equivalent of telling people not to take a pee in the street. And I’d found that similar signs can be found outside churches in Cornwall and painted along alleyways in Melbourne’s Chinatown.
So, why did this Victorian sign love-in delight me?
Because this Victorian sign is undoubtedly one of the smallest minutiae of life that you can imagine. And yet I’ve found a bunch of people who have taken a photo of the same sign as I have. Who are interested in the same things as I am. Who have inspired me enough that I want to contribute my own content and become a member of the group.
What’s not to delight in that?