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APRIL 23, 2009   

Grrrr... visual pollution!

Dons LIghthouse sign at Lake and CliftonYou've seen signs like this before, but probably none this blatantly self-serving.

A company "adopts" a section of highway or a park and keeps it maintained, clear of litter, etc.; in return they get a sign acknowledging their effort. I think the signs are usually bigger than necessary, but this one at Lake and Clifton in Cleveland takes the cake.

A tiny triangular patch of grass and flowers that doesn't require a huge amount of maintenance is dominated by a big sign. In fact the sign obscures much of the view for anyone approaching from the west, as seen here.

Sign showing the words "Maintained by" in tiny letterNotice the sign's big bold letters announcing the restaurant's name and tiny, nearly invisible ones saying "Maintained by." Wonder why so small?

Did I mention that, coincidentally, the restaurant is directly across the street from the sign? Imagine that.

So what we have is the city providing a highly visible location for a private company to place a mini-billboard in return for having a little less park maintenance for city crews to provide. Not a very good deal.

Why not add the kitchen sink?

Pray for our troops ribbon on carThere are so many variations on the car ribbon magnet that I've become numb to their visual clumsiness. Mostly.

The one I saw today breaks new ground in its haphazard mixing of visual symbols.

First is the ribbon, of course, which started out as an actual small red cloth ribbon that people wore on their labels to symbolize AIDS awareness. The ribbon theme expanded to other colors for other causes then somehow made the leap to the 2-D version that people stick on their cars.

"Ribbons" like this that say Pray for our Troops are usually yellow, but this one instead uses the red and green colors of Christmas. A cheery thought for the season. In case you don't quite get the connection they've added green holly leaves with red berries.

But lest you get too jolly, to reinforce the military theme there is a small arc of stars across the top—in patriotic white and green. What a mess!

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2009 APRIL