please knock to be entered

The people in the office next to ours are guilty of some truly world-class bad signage.

Let's go through them one by one, from the point of view of a customer, walking down the hall looking for these people.
Ok, so there are three companies in this suite. Sure, no problem. One of these companies is probably the one I'm here to see. I'll just--

Whoa, okay, that's a little strange for a office door. Am I welcome here? Maybe they've had problems with delinquent teenagers or homeless people? Let's see...

Okay, now I'm confused; I can come in, but only if I'm not trespassing. Well at least this seems to imply that there is a business here that wants customers. Since I'm here to see these people I'll probably be fine. The sign says I should just come in, so I'll just open the d--

Oh, a doorbell. Well, maybe I'll ring the doorbell then, instead of walking in? Maybe then they can determine whether or not I'm trespassing... Here goes, ringing the--

Wait, what? Okay, I don't even know where to begin unpacking this one. First of all, I came here to talk to you people, not to be probed or penetrated IN ANY WAY. Second of all, if I did want to be entered, whatever that means, should I knock or ring the doorbell? Maybe the doorbell is for people who don't want to be entered? It's pretty ambiguous. I know one thing for sure: I am not walking through that door. I am leaving and driving home.

Here it is all together, in all its glory:

The cognitive dissonance of this display is startling. Why does nobody talk to the manager and say, "look, your signs are awful and they are scaring us." I... just... the... HOW CAN THIS BE THE PUBLIC FACE OF YOUR BUSINESS? IT'S COMPLETELY SCHIZOPHRENIC! WHERE IS YOUR SENSE OF PRIDE?

I mean, how hard is it to create a display that doesn't argue vigorously with itself?



...I like to try to give people the benefit of the doubt wherever possible, but this just kills me. The grammar issue with the paper sign is probably the funniest, but it's honestly just the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back. What really, really bothers me about this door, day in and day out as I walk past it, is it's blithe ignorance of its own conflicting messaging. The concepts conveyed by the signs on this door are in direct opposition to eachother, and its left to the reader to sort it all out. Thus the signs more than cancel themselves out, they leave the reader with a vague uneasiness about the entire business. These signs are almost certainly driving away customers, and I guess that bothers me.


  1. We have some really bad paper signage around the office sometimes, and I am embarrassed when I see one, and wondering if the Boss would ever fire someone for making a sign that says, "Place you're coffe cup "here""

    (That is an exaggeration, but I've seen each of those errors on public display)

  2. Man... I should send you links more often. I saw that Amazon tribe one this morning and thought I was one of the crazy few that really dug it. I spend half of my "wake up news time" reading stuff like that.

    Also, very cool on the shirts! I noticed your plant one before but it didn't occur to me that it was yours. :P Good times!

  3. Great sign!
    As for bad spelling..this is the best. In a London greengrocer shop...
    monge-two (mangetout)
    obo-jeans (aubergines in UK, or eggplant for you)