Saturday, December 22, 2007

Two Tell-tale Signs in Hillsdale

Today, the day these photos were taken, is December 22, or in the haphazard typography of the above sign, 12 22.

(Note the grab-bag assortment of letters — yes, that "A" has a reverse accent over it; yes, that's an umlaut over the "U". Notice the careless spacing and word arrangement.)

The advertised fund-raising event was 11 days ago, but the sign, now a billboard for a local pizzeria, is unchanged. It is, in essence, cheap, ugly advertising on public property. Some 30,000 commuters see the sign each workday.

The school district still has no policy about such advertised fund-raisers or about where and how they are promoted. Despite the money they raise, they are clear commercial intrusions into our schools.

Contrast the above Wilson High sign and its ungainly "lollipop" design and its dated, neglected content, with the message and design of the nearby Rieke Elementary School sign.

What's the message, stated and aesthetic, of each? Which school has its priorities straight? Which school cares about and has thought about its "public face"?

You be the judge.

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