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Useless, Unsuccessful and/or Unpopular Signage

martinellei's apple juice as seen on tiktok banner

I love weird Facebook groups where people can share photos of odd things they’ve seen. Recently discovered this gem, Useless, Unsuccessful and/or Unpopular Signage. This is a great group for marketers or people who work in retail to remind you to really think before creating a sign or billboard of any type.

I’ve dug through my old Facebook mobile uploads to contribute a few weird signs I’ve seen over the years. I’ll add those at the end of this article as not all of them have been sent to the group yet or might not end up in the group.

Here’s a collection of recent posts from the group that represents typical activity in the group:

I really hope that this is an unsuccessful sign, anyone who needs financing for a $5 Star Wars Funk Pop Vinyl of Lando Calrissian needs to rethink their hobbies.

Whilst people outside of Australia were mortified by the parking prices at St Vincent’s Hospital, this was posted due to the “All Care But No Responsibility” message in regard to the safety of your vehicle.

“Cups are full price even when empty” seems to suggest people have been stealing cups, possibly to get free refills? Something has definitely become enough of an issue for this sign to be needed.

There’s a lot of COVID-19 signs in the group at the moment. This is at a liquor store. It actually seems crazy that a few months ago seeing someone with a mask in a liquor store meant they were going to rob the place, now it’s required for health and safety. Covering your face with your shirt does not count, however.

This is the kind of sign that means that so many people were stepping in fire pits that a sign was required. These can still have hot embers in them from the night before.

“No COVID-19 Allowed Thank You” – Prime example of a useless sign. Apparently “B.O.B – Bottom of the basket” is a famous tip for cashiers at retail, but “L.I.S.A – Look Inside Always” is a new one.

“Watch out for Tico he loves children” just seems creepy.

As the owner of two cats, a pet that never poops sounds pretty good.

Always remember to replace any sample text. This actually hits home pretty hard for my current employer. We were supposed to have a stand at an upcoming B2B Conference and somehow ended up with Lorem Ipsum text as our description in the booklet. We were livid at this error by the organiser, this was after several other mistakes made along the way. COVID-19 cancelled the event anyway so we did not have to live with the Lorem Ipsum text after all.

This sign was spotted at an Olive Garden restaurant. “This table is closed” sign used on a urinal. Please don’t dine at any urinals anywhere, even after this is over.

I’m sure this is meant to say “Hello Sunshine” but it really doesn’t.

This photo was taken in a workplace bathroom with a single toilet.

Three-quarters of a person allowed inside of store only!

“Notice – Bathroom supplies may not available here. Please check the roll before you commit. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding”. As someone who thoroughly wipes down the seat of any public bathroom, I’ve never committed to a toilet that had no paper. It seems like something that only happens in sitcoms, but I feel like it must have happened enough times here to force them to make a sign.

It seems somewhat ironic to have an advertisement for mobile payments being accepted right next to a sign that tells you not to use your phone while refuelling. What bothers me most is that phones blowing up petrol stations is a myth that has been debunked decades ago. I recently got screamed at over the loudspeaker at my local 7-Eleven whilst use the 7-Eleven Fuel App whilst filling up with petrol.

“Just cremate me! Skip the funeral” seems like something out of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. 

“Restrooms for customers only! (Please don’t make a deposit here if we didn’t make a sale!)”

This sign at an ice cream shop – “Touch-free service – please take your cone from the top, we will hold from the base” had a weirdly sexual component to it which was thoroughly discussed in the comments.

This type of typography can really make people read the words in the wrong order and give a very different meaning – “Artificial No Ingredients”.

This shop has the most confusing alcohol sale times imaginable. Perhaps the writer didn’t know the difference between AM and PM?

“If this restroom needs service please turn on switch” – THERE IS NO SWITCH.

“Do not underestimate the resilience of our Seniors… we are alive and well, see you on the outside soon.” – Whilst I suspect this is a COVID-19 warning about not being able to accept visitors, it really sounds like some kind of threat.

I’m unclear if this is an actual vending machine or a fridge, but this really shouldn’t need a sign. I can see the prices on each item inside. Why was this needed?!

“Beware of dog”

Just try and read this out loud.

24 hours a day, 7 days a week… Except when we are closed.

ass needles

People really need to stop writing “Ass” instead of “Assorted”.

I don’t recall what kind of store this sign came from, but the sign was surely unpopular.

“Buy guns not masks” – how dangerously American.

Someone opened a can of cut green beans from Krogers and got sliced peaches. They were actually pretty stoked about it as peaches probably cost more.

Martinelli’s Apple Juice “As seen on Tik Tok”. The comments blew up on this one as just about every product ever could have possibly been seen on Tik Tok at some point by some small audience.

This is a chlamydia joke.

“Work Nice Hard To And Be People”

“We have Terry Pharmacy From Moved To White Across Coles”

“No Minors Allowed This includes all infants – Management” – Apparently this sign was very low to the ground so it was at eye level for small children.

“Would you like to learn to play the banjo?” – This was one is clearly a joke and probably shouldn’t have been part of the group, but I’m sharing it anyway as I don’t really want to learn to play the banjo.

“No sharks allowed on the beach at any time, penalties apply” – this is clearly modified by vandals but it’s fun so I’m sharing it here.

“Do not shop this way” is a weird sign to see in a shop. I suspect it is from when stores were trying to direct the flow of traffic within their stores due to Coronavirus.

I can tell this is meant to say “Paint Club” but it really looks like “Pit Can Lub”

The unwritten rules of urinal etiquette dictate that you always spread out at a urinal as far away from other people as possible. This sign was surely unnecessary but may have been a legal requirement.

“Don’t Drive? Do Die?”

Who is putting money in their mouth?

There was a lot of debate about this “$1.35 a Scoop Chinese Food” restaurant.

“Inedible animal food” does not sound great.

This one took me a moment to see what was wrong with it…

The group has a lot of photos of retail stores where the products are not in the right spots in relation to the signs, so I’m only sharing this one as it’s from Coles in Australia, I’m sure I’ve seen similar instances of this myself.

I hope this sign worked and Lisa remembered her phone.

“Please this door thanks”

I’ve also come across “temporarily unavailable” items in supermarkets that are clearly there. I assume I’ve purchased some too. 

I think the issue with this sign is whether “buy 1 get 1 free” at a shoe shop is just the same as buying a regular pair of shoes for the same price. 

Are these free-range pork spare ribs $29 per kg or $96.67 per kg? Another Australian post from a Woolworths store.

The concern about a bigger bag of chips is whether or not it contains more contents or not.

Upside down sign at the Fossil store.

“Are you leaving that dog poo? Disgusting” I love this sign but it looks like someone else didn’t like it as one of the corners looks damaged. Perhaps someone didn’t like getting judged for leaving their dog poop around.

The age of children who can use this playground is really confusing.

The original poster of this photo said that there was also no lifeguard before the sign either.

I know that this billboard about live streaming funerals is due to Covid-19 but out of this context it seems very dystopian.

The fact that churches do not pay taxes, yet operate as a business seems to be confusing even to churches themselves.

This looks really bad if you don’t read the whole sign. The only thing worth stealing is a kiss from a sleeping child – Joe Houldsworth. Wow, this sounds creepy. I have no idea why a mall would make a sign out of this quote.

This sign seems somewhat hypocritical.

Now original content from Keith Nallawalla’s mobile uploads on Facebook

I’ll be uploading some of these to the group over the coming weeks.

I love this photo of a “car boot” for sale at a garage sale because it feels like a missed opportunity as “car boot sales” are also a thing. Granted, it is usually in a public space. I don’t know if this totally qualifies for the group. I think this may have been some sort of retail display in the past. I took this photo in Hoppers Crossing from memory.

Hungry Jacks usually has free refills but didn’t this day and people kept not noticing the sign. This was taken at Werribee Hungry Jacks during Weerama many years ago.

I don’t know if these signs are related or not “Job Vacancy Apply here – Guys Wanted must be rich & good looking”. I’m not sure that any rich guys would want to work at the Laverton Market but OK.

The “ARE THEY MY (paint) BALLS ON YOUR FACE” billboard for World Series Paintball was always amusing to drive past many years ago.

This is clearly a bad retail opportunity. I think this was taken in one of Melbourne’s Inner East suburbs.

I don’t know if you can legally call 16-year-olds sexy… but Ok.

This one was quite popular in the group, many members have had an “EEG” before, which is the abbreviation for Electroencephalogram, which is a test for problems with electrical activity in the brain. Apparently $7 is quite a good price for this procedure.

I think this was taken in a Games World store, “It’s OK to role-play as a Harrowed Gunslinger. It’s not ok to smell like one” with the logo for Lynx body spray. Having participated in Pokemon Trading Card Game tournaments for years and being present at other nerdy competitions, reminders to smell good is unfortunately necessary.

I always enjoyed the “Quality Rugs” sign in Camberwell. This store had a “closing down” sale that lasted well over a year. It might still be “closing down” to this day. I don’t know if it would qualify for the group or not.

“No Parking or sucking” – I don’t know if this is best suited to this group or their much smaller sister group “Useless, Unsuccessful, and/or Unpopular Graffiti”.

I posted this to the group and it went down like an $80 hot dog. Clearly they meant the lowest price is $3.80 but it really looks like they range all the way between $3 and $80. There was a lot of speculation here in what an actual $80 hot dog might contain.

For a long time, it bothered me that supermarkets would use “1/2 price” stickers on things where the maths didn’t quite work. They now have “Better than 1/2 price” signs, so this is clearly an old photo.

try our pink lady juice

“Try our pink lady juice” – this picture used to have my face in it looking concerned but I don’t really want to be associated with “Lady juice”, it doesn’t sound like something you’re meant to consume.

I I saw these “Man Force” condoms in India. I really don’t think this is a good name for a condom brand due to the word “force”. 

I took this “Zip it up – Giant Pork Sausage” sign at Hofbrauhaus in Las Vegas at the after-party for Pubcon one year. This sign was on the way out from the men’s bathroom, so it doubles as a reminder to zip up your pants.

This was taken at a 7-Eleven in Melbourne soon after Krispy Kreme Doughnuts became available. “Fill the Hole” just seemed oddly sexual and it was surely intentional.

This sign for the Charles Dickens Tavern in Melbourn mentions that “drink prices are reduced during happy hour” which is pretty much what Happy Hour is all about, but when is Happy Hour?

“Guess whose back, back again Santa’s back, tell a friend!” I think this was at the Harvey Norman in Hoppers Crossing. If so, I know the guy who plays Santa there each year. I never took him for an Eminem fan.

 

 

What do you think?

Written by Keith

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