German signage.

One of the interesting things about being in another country is being made aware of the little details you don’t notice until they are suddenly different. The common signage in public buildings is one example. I have been somewhat amused by the exit sign here, which involves a stick figure on a green background running towards a door.


The thing that strikes me about this ubiquitous sign is that the person is really running. While it is true that one needs exits signs when one is trying to escape a fire or other disaster, I am usually looking for an exit sign just to find my way out, not at a fair clip, but a normal pace. Since it’s new to me, it kind of makes me laugh when I see it.

The one that really cracks me up, though, is a sticker I’ve seen in several places, alerting dog owners to a restriction:

This is in mass production — you can buy it in office supply stores. What I love is how specific it is, and how illustrative. You are not meant to simply infer what this squatting pup is doing. No. You see each individual turd. Not here, Fido!


5 thoughts on “German signage.

    1. I can’t say for sure, but I haven’t seen anyone picking up any poop yet. That said, I haven’t seen any dogs in the act either. Perhaps they are very well trained.

  1. I notice the same thing in the United States. The most popular ‘Neighborhood watch’ sign I have seen here is actually a sign saying: ‘No thieves allowed’. Sometimes, other countries’ signs can be hilarious. I’m still trying to figure out why jewelry thieves in Ireland fart so much…

  2. The running stick figure, it seems to me, might just as well be running toward, not running out: running for the toilet? That seems the more appropriate application…but who am I to suggest what the German mind OUGHT to do with its symbology!?

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