Unsightly signage

Judy Hodson, Simon’s Town

Further to Pamela van der Merwe’s heartfelt indignation regarding the “revolting state of main road Fish Hoek”, an additional eyesore is the ugly, garish, unrestrained signage with which many businesses choose to plaster their façades.

On moving to Simon’s Town 20 years ago, I commented on it to my neighbour. She advised: “Close your eyes when you pass through Fish Hoek. We all do!”

Nevertheless, imagine being on the traffic circle island, your back to the lovely joyful garden on the slope behind, looking down main road to the far traffic light at the entrance to Fish Hoek.

Visualise the streetscape with no signage whatsoever. Then imagine every building painted in pastels grey, pink, blue, peach, cream, green, and each business adorned with just one attractive sign.

Sigh! How such a gesture would enhance the sadly eroded character of what should be laid-back, beachy, fabulous Fish Hoek.

Signs need not be huge, plentiful or in-your-face to be noticed, in fact, quite the opposite.

Sympathetic signage enhances a streetscape, creates an atmosphere and delights people half-unconsciously into noticing and warming to its sense of place.

Imagine charismatic Kalk Bay awash with a plethora of garish, bully-boy signage – it’s unique character would be damaged irreparably.

Less is more when it comes to signage: sensitive signage is like a magnet, one is irresistibly drawn to it.

How about it folks? Stand back, look again and seriously consider your signage: your verdict might well be that it is long overdue for a sensitive make-over.

And if you cannot afford to improve it or get artistic input, merely remove 99% of it – one sign is enough already!

The three garages could take a leaf out of the book of Total’s Glencairn Service Station beside the wetland. Thankfully its signage is sensitively toned down and yet it is perfectly visible to everyone.