business signs MelbourneOne of the things you notice when you’ve spent time away from earth is the amount of noise everywhere. When I talk about noise, I am not referring to sound waves emitted as a byproduct of life as it occurs, I’m talking instead about interference. Clutter. Unnecessary messages that we are subliminally bombarded with every time we step outside. In space, there’s no advertising, no careful positioning of labels or cues to make you say ‘yes, I need this’. Up there, all you know is that you need to eat and you need to sleep, you have no choice in products and so it doesn’t matter.

What I have to admire is the immensity of colour and talent that goes into writing signage in Melbourne, it is truly extraordinary. Everybody is almost blindly preoccupied with making themselves stand out from the crowd, announcing to the world ‘here I am! This is me!’ You have to wonder if, just occasionally, the put more effort into differentiating themselves than they do the work their commissioned to perform.

That’s just me, though. I’ve always been a cynic, looking at things with a critical eye and wondering if it’s real or it’s all a part of a show. But then, I guess, in the broader scheme of life, everything’s a show.

Take safety signs in Melbourne, for example. It’s strange the amount of effort and care that goes into making something you would assume would be so simple. You can never just have a plain, straightforward, informative message – every sign and poster needs to be decked out with the bells and whistles. It’s not just unnecessary, it’s overwhelming. How can people focus on the things they’re supposed to focus on with all these things in the background constantly demanding their attention?

I know I’m probably sour, but I just miss the days when everything was clear cut and straightforward.