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From: WarningLabelGenerator

From: WarningLabelGenerator

We have a global addiction to signs.  Somewhere in human development, common sense became … not so common … requiring we put warning labels on everything to protect ourselves from … ourselves.  We’ve become, in a sense, a signotopian society.

Journalists have an unending supply of stories where miscreants scream at the government for letting them be so reckless, followed later with an equal amount of disdain of government’s heavy handedness infringing on individual rights.  Don’t believe it?  Both sides of the argument have a team of lawyers who’d be glad to send you a brochure.  Where it’s led us is a profligacy of visual aids with words and stick figures.

We need directional signs so we don’t break traffic laws, or get lost. Where’s the sign that says,  Do Not Read Signs While Vehicle is Still Moving.

Sign Antwerp

Stick people have become the ubiquitous symbol of things we should do or not do.

Sign StickFigure 1

If you’ve forgotten how to behave on public transport, signs are there to help you remember.

Sign Transit Thailand

Parks and National Heritage Sites ensure you have the knowledge to deal with the park’s native inhabitants, though stick people graphics may be removed if deemed too graphic for public eyes.

Sign Mt Lion


Warning labels have been dumbed-down to catch the fractional minority of people who insist on surviving Darwin’s laws.

Sign Chainsaw


The overabundance of warnings and signage has made most of us insensitive to it.  Hell, even the animals don’t pay attention.

Sign Summing it UpSign Seagull


It’s come to a point where we must accept the fact that life is a tenuous arrangment.  We shouldn’t need a sign to tell us that, but I’m expecting any day now, a lobby to petition all newborn infants be tattooed with “Caution – The Surgeon General has Determined that Living is Hazardous to Your Health“.

As for me, I find our obsession with warning labels and sign-o-topia tedious, which concerns my family, who thinks I should pay more attention to these things.  There’s really only one warning I consider useful.

Sign Object Does Not Have a Brain

If that’s not good enough, I told them when I die, they have permission to use me as a warning to others.

Sign tombstone 3

What’s your favorite sign or label?  Feel free to peruse the library at Signspotting, or create your own.