A new craze has swept the retail community. It’s the oval neon open sign and it looks like this:
Even in my quaint neighborhood of Noe Valley in San Francisco, we are inundated with this ubiquitous symbol of openness. When I see this sign the following thoughts go through my head in this order:
- Shock – Wow, another one of these signs (?!)
- Enlightenment – This business is probably low quality / unoriginal / not trying hard.
- Confusion – Why would the proprietor want to convey these connotations?
- Trivia – I guess this establishment is open / closed.
In just a few blocks along 24th street in Noe Valley I counted six of these eyesores. It is a perfect example of horrible design and poor marketing. A hand painted open sign is friendlier, unique, conveys personality, and is only a fraction of the cost. Here is my favorite sign on 24th Street for a shop called ladybug ladybug: