These photos of signs are a virtual postcard of my travels. They highlight the destinations I have visited around the world. It’s a bonus if the sign is written in a foreign language.
I lived in Thailand for several months last year. This colourful Koh Samui sign is a fun welcome to the landmark grandpa and grandma rock formations on Hua Thanon Beach.
The 24 foot Penrith sign below was installed in 2013 and marks the entrance to a shopping district in Cumbria, England. I visited the quaint town on an extended trip to the UK in 2018. The vivid “Houston is inspired” and “Marietta” graffiti walls are city tributes and popular backdrops for social media photo sessions.
Fun facts: The Houston mural originated as an advertisement for the city, and the Marietta wall is part of an installation of murals for the city’s annual M2R TrailFest.
One of the unique signs I have photographed is the giant lettered “Mnam”. I shot it outside the Morocco National Auto Museum at the Erg Chebbi Dunes, entrance to the Sahara Desert. Trade signs, like the large metal hat below, have historically been designed to represent a specific industry. You can probably guess that this one is for a millinery.
Using characters and people as subjects in signs helps make them more accessible and memorable to us. I absolutely love this Betty Boop sign at Universal Studios in Orlando. More often the chosen character has some significance to the owner of the establishment. The owners of Bread & Butter Bakery in Georgia use the elephant because it symbolizes strength and mindfulness, qualities they are inspired to convey to their customers. The Bob’s Big Boy character below is from the mid-60s. Bet you didn’t know. They modeled the character after a 6-year-old customer of the restaurant chain in the late 30s.
Cities around the world have a lot of signs. Subways in London are the more interesting of the municipality transportation signs. Illuminated neon lights after dark are the most memorable images of most big city visits. You will never forget your first visit to a destination like New York City, or Tokyo below.
As you travel around the world, pay attention to the signs. It may surprise you how much you learn about the destination you are visiting. Check out a few more of my favorites.