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Signwriters of Toowoomba: What are you doing?

I have no doubt there are many talented signwriters in Toowoomba. Signwriters that are discerning in their choice of materials and only use quality fixtures when installing signs. Why then does design so often get overlooked in new signs around Toowoomba?

Of course my own industry is not without its fair share of dodgy websites, but you have to go looking to find them. Poorly crafted signs are so egregious as they are in your line of sight by design. Given how little design work actually needs to go into a sign it's unforgivable to see so many bad ones around.

I can't deal with this...

This is a new apartment building currently under construction in Toowoomba. It must have cost over a million dollars to build. Signs adorn the fencing of builders and architects; talented, creative people whose work went into its construction and design.

How then does someone justify an enormous sign on the side of the building made of checker plate steel using a stencil font you may remember from the title screen of television show MASH. The phone number intersects the three other words on the sign and is barely readable.

This sign would look almost garish on an industrial shed or welding shop. What does it communicate to the passer by? With much of the construction work still being completed on the building this sign is my own first impression. It speaks to me that these serviced apartments will suit someone who wears overalls and comes home covered in grease.


Call it nitpicking, fine. Signs are intended to be seen, but more consideration should be taken in their design. Don't mistake legibility for communication. I can imagine a scenario where someone simply wanted those three words and the phone number put on a sign so large that it could be read — and nothing more was asked for. More could have been done.

This sign could have set the tone for the whole building and the type of tenant the landlord was trying to attract. Otherwise it's a dull grey sign on a dull grey box of a building.

I hope it's temporary.