This photography project is the work of Nathan Jones. It is a collection of road signs, banners, hand-written notes, ‘adjusted’ official notices, or just plain grammatically or typographically incorrect. The emphasis is on signs that can be read or misread obliquely, or notes with humour. In this respect it is inspired directly by the Mass Observation Project in that it is a look at a particular aspect of human nature; the omnipresent signage about our daily lives and our relentless deliberate misinterpretation and re-appropriation of it (or just plain vandalising it so it reads as something else).
Somehow, in these written words all over our landscape, we can make out tone: The ominous, the witty and humorous. Depending on our own outlook and the context of it, the meaning of these signs becomes surreal and elevated into the imagination. Man With A Heavy Umbrella is a a good example of this, and has entered our modern psyche (but not for reasons Margaret Calvert wanted!).
These photos have been made all over the world – the places I have visited so far at least. This site is an attempt to archive and organise them in some way, as well as for your own viewing pleasure.
Sometimes I’ve photographed the signs in a matter of fact catalogue type approach – myopic and straight on photos. Other times, they work best in context of their surroundings. Some images, admittedly, are not funny, but beautiful in other ways.
The project is ongoing, so do sign up for the newsletter, or visit again soon.