Sunday, January 29, 2012

Environmental Signs

For this blog I chose two signs that attempt to address the problem of protecting small green spaces from dog waste. The first sign relies on symbols while the other relies on text and
placement. It is my opinion that the one using text is more effective.

The first sign shows a silhouette of a squatting dog with the international symbol for “no” over it. The messageis to not let your dog poop on the grass. I can’t help smiling when I see this.
Let’s face it, poop is funny. The message is clear but the consequences for ignoring the sign is not. It’s placement on the clean brick exterior of the building instead of “dog level” also weakens the message. Perhaps if it was staked in the ground a pet owner might be moved into obeying the sign. In fact I see people letting their dogs relieve themselves in this very spot quite often.
The second sign uses text, some color, and placement to convince dog owners to not allow their pets to urinate on/near street trees. In my view the choice of language printed on the sign is
what makes it effective. “DOG URINE KILLS BABY TREES” is subtlety highlighted in yellow. Any sentence with the words “kill baby” in it is sure to immediately grab attention. If the sign said “dog urine hurts saplings” the impact would not be the same. The placement of this sign is also important as it is strung between three baby trees, which seem to be struggling for life. The consequence of not obeying the message is right there for all to see.

1 comment:

Billy Duprey said...

While I do agree with you about the first sign being slightly funny (and easily overlooked) and the second sign being much more effective, I do still have some problems with the second sign. I feel like whoever created the sign might've taken it a step further than they should have. Most people will probably obey the sign, but some might see it as being a little too intense and therefore decide to be rebellious out of spite.
I think instead of focusing on what the people and the dogs are doing wrong, the sign should focus on 'saving' the baby trees. I'm not sure how exactly one would do that, but I'm sure there's a middle ground somewhere. To some, seeing the words "DOG URINE KILLS BABY TREES" in big, bold letters might come off as being funny just because of how blunt a statement it is.