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2005 03 30
Street Signs
imageIs it just us, or has the quality of the city's street name signs been steadily declining over the past few years? While the latest variety of black and white sign bears a superficial similarity to the signs of old (i.e. lozenge shaped with a little black acorn on top) the resemblance pretty much stops there. The new signs are much bigger and flatter than they need to be, and look like they are made out of molded plastic, having none of the graceful extruded depth of their metal predecessors. Gone are the embossed, crafted letters that spell out the street name; instead the letterforms look as though they’ve been simply laser printed on. And in some cases, as this photo shows, two signs have been rudely joined together in a manner that makes it look like the middle section has been sliced out by a chainsaw.

What’s behind the switch? Cost savings no doubt, a decision by some mega-city accounting functionary to save a few dollars out of the yearly operating budget. Toronto Life’s Urban Decoder columnist might be able to tell us more, but as far as we’re concerned these signs look like fakes, insubstantial imposters that would be more at home in a theme park. Downgrading such a ubiquitous, integral part of the city’s character was an uninspired, wrong-headed move, as it cheapens the look of our fine city at a time when there are so many other things that are successfully bringing up the tone.
[email this story] Posted by Barnaby Marshall & Carmen Dunjko on 03/30 at 08:08 AM

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