John Redmond St
I am of an age such that I was not around or too young to have noticed the events regularly cited when people are asked as to where they were at the time – JFK shooting, and man stepping off on the moon. There are a few events etched into my memory.
I can remember the exact T-junction on the road between Athlone and Birr when I heard of the Ayrton Senna crash. News of the Bradford stadium fire was had in pub in Clogherhead, when we should have been studying. In April 1989, I was in my parents’ then house.
Growing up, my cousin and I were routinely dropped to our grandfather most Sundays and off we went to a match – Flower Lodge, Turner’s Cross, or down the Park (pre Pairc Ui Chaoimh). We would also have been brought to Killarney, to Thomond Park and to Lansdowne Road for an international match most years.
It may have been a touch of innocence of youth or maybe a security that nothing could go wrong when we were with Grandad, but in all the matches, I never had the fear of getting lost or getting hurt. I remember in the seventies I think, in Killarney for a football final that the crowd, including me who thought it was great fun, pushed against a tall gate into the ground causing it to collapse and everyone got in. The amount of patrons leaving Lansdowne Road at the final whistle to get the train to town always resulted in a major rush and crush but we always came home.
One would think that a company such as Hallmark would have a good proofreading department. I suspect they would not sell too many cards saying – hapPY BITRHDAY. There is an expectation that what is printed is correct.
Imagine my surprise today when spotting an apostrophe instead of a dot, as well as capital S and DAY. Not fatal to anyone. Most people will probably read as a dot as intended but that does not alter that it is incorrect. Everyone can make an error but what is surprising is that within Hallmark or its subcontractors, the sign must have been read on a screen or as printed by the graphic designer who came up with the proof; the sign maker; the people who erected the sign; and, all staff entering the building.
That suggests that these people did not spot the missing dot, the misplaced apostrophe or the capital letters. Alternatively, it suggests that they did not care as to what potential customers might think. I think that the latter would be worse but need to consider it further.
However, my first though when turning the corner and seeing the sign spanning the Hallmark shop to the building on the other side of the street was not punctuation. Neither was it whether the sign was covered by insurance should the tie-wires come loose and it fall down on a passer-by.
I am far from an expert in marketing and brand awareness. I am just the customer at which all the branding and marketing is aimed. As one who actually reads the signs, I am part of the target audience. Reading alone does not help comprehend why it is necessary to change.
I can understand that it does keep people in employment – brand designers, graphic artists, printers, sign-erectors. That I can comprehend as good.
I can probably see that one design is possibly perceived by some as being of a more modern style and possibly of greater attraction to a new younger target audience. Being neither new nor young, I am not part of that group and was more than happy with the old design.
Thanks but no thanks.
I actually think that old designs can become instantly recognisable as they have been in our consciousness for so long. Imagine if HMV had put an iPod on the dog rather than standing next to a gramophone horn.
Apologies for what was written below which proves that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
The FC signs are for fire cocks – similar to fire hydrants. The date relates to opening of Waterworks.
The insurance signs were different. One is located in Montenotte and two more in the city centre.
I have photographed what I think are all of the FC and old fire hydrant signs and will upload at some stage.
Apologies again – 20160208
It is true that ‘it is a bad day when you do not learn something new’. I am also beginning to believe that there are very little that is actually a new idea – most have been considered by others before.
I was delighted to recently get my hands on a booklet, A Guide to Cork City’s Historic Plaques and Signs. It has answers to a number of queries in my head as to the meaning of certain old signs - including the FC sign to indicate that the building was insured and so the privately operated Fire Brigade would be sure of payment in event of fire.
Thought provoking as to how the fire brigade now acts as a public service and they will deal with fire and then issue request for payment – not other way around. Imagine a fire in a building adjoining an insured premises, would the private fire brigade have left the uninsured building burn and have limited their work to stopping it spreading to the insured building.
Need to go gathering more information
Pembroke St, Cork
I remember many years ago taking photographs of buildings from the roof down to the shopfront and asking people to recognise the building. There were very many features which were recognised by few. The building facade to Dunnes Stores in Patrick St. is three buildings of very distinct designs but when painted the same colour, they are generally not observed above the shopfront.
Only recent did I spot, for the first time, the (what I think is mosaic) sign at high level on the gable of Mayne's = now pub, former pharmacy. It appears to be a sign written over the original.
A nice reward for looking up.
The more signs that I actually read and not just scan, the more I am convinced that some can actually be detrimental to the image intended to be created.
Savoy Centre, Patrick's St., Cork
I remember having difficulty when preparing for first Holy Communion, with the story of the prodigal son. I could not reconcile why someone who was always well behaved would be passed out by someone who had misbehaved and recently repented to be welcomed back into the flock. My reasoning was that you might as well misbehave until the very last minute, if you knew when that was, and you would get to the top of the queue. My thinking was that was actually the best course of action.
Many years later, I would be more in agreement with the logic of seven year old me than with the logic of the Catholic Church. As our paths rarely cross, determining who is right is not of major concern.
Monahan Road, Cork - Feb 2013
I have no doubt that the information on the sign is totally correct. However, it could be categorised as useless.
It is obviously 12 years old at least. The companies on the sign have even changed names in the interim so any advertising benefit is limited. The Local Authority and Government department have also been renamed.
If there is a register of signs held by Local Authority, I would suggest that the register should have a removal or end-of-life date and then an obligation to remove. I spotted quite a number of out-of-date signs over the past week or so but this is by far the most out-of-date. I suspect there may even be older signs still standing.
The sign does nothing to improve any image trying to be created as to a modern city.
Spotted some years ago in Dun Laoghaire
I suspect that most of their customers are more concerned with the quality of their workmanship than their competence at spelling.
Would be interesting if after completing the works, the customer received a 3 year quarantine order. It could be argued that 'quarantine ' is more likley to have been incorrectly printed rather than 'guarantee'.
South Mall, Cork
Adds a visual aid to the terms and condition that 'your investment my go down as well as up'
In the current Celtic Tortoise economy, I wonder which tenant has more customers.
Also I wonder if the business next door in 85 sends or receives more customers from the neighbouring building.....
I took the photograph.
I have shown it to others.
I would not have shown it to others if TAXI had been spelt correctly.
I probably would not have even taken the photo just because of the poor missing apostrophe.
Was it done in error?
Or, was it a smart idea to increase the reach of the marketing?
As I took the photo in May 2011 and as the sign is still on a car spotted in the last few weeks, I suspect the latter.
This afternoon, I was listening to a piece on the radio about the provision in the Local Property Tax Amendment Bill whereby a purchaser will face a €500 fine if they do not report where they believe that the vendor has underpaid for property tax previously. The interviewer adopted a very offended stance on behalf of his listenership acting as revenue police. Both Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein were very quick to denounce the provisions.
It all sounds like politicians liking to have their voice heard and an interviewer trying to find moral indignation where it is unwarranted.
5 Bridge St., Cork.
I would have regularly passed this shop but would not often have parted with my money there - my sense of balance not being compatible with surfboards. However, recently I was very disappointed to see the sign. The format of the sign did bring a smile but the content was a not so gentle reminder as to where I do spend my money.
Reading in the papers or hearing on radio of the number of companies closing down is one thing but noting the shop open one day and closed the next has greater impact. This impact is heightened as I would regularly walk along Bridge St into the city centre. Shortly thereafter, I was walking on Academy St. and noted that all shops on the first half of the western side have closed. Washington St appears to also have high vacancy
Last year, those in Liam Russell bookshop did issue a tug on my conscience. They had a simple notice inside the door along the lines of – browse locally, buy locally. This hit home as I would browse bookshops anywhere as a pleasant means of passing time. This would sometimes result in a purchase. More often, it would result in a new title going on a list of possible future purchases.
Unless otherwise specifically stated, all photographs and text are the property of www.readingthesigns.weebly.com - such work is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution - ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence
Blogs I Read & Links
Thought & Comment
For the Fainthearted
Bock The Robber
140 characters is usually enough
That’s How The Light Gets In
Tea and a Peach
Buildings & Things Past
Come Here To Me
Pilgrimage in Medieval Ireland
The Irish Aesthete
Ireland in History Day By Day
Buildings of Ireland
Irish War Memorials
The Standing Stone
Time Travel Ireland
Stair na hÉireann
Wide & Convenient Streets
The Irish Story
Our City, Our Town
West Cork History
Cork’s War of Independence
Cork Historical Records
Rebel Cork’s Fighting Story
40 Shades of Life in Cork