Florence Street Sign

This “design in the wild” photo was taken last spring during my semester abroad in Florence, Italy. This simple “no entry ” sign was affixed with an interesting graphic sticker of a spilled wine glass, and for obvious reasons, it caught my eye.

I love this “wild design” for many reasons; the first being the sheer unexpectedness of it. It is playful and exciting, soliciting a laugh or, in my case, an instant photo-worthy moment. I also appreciate the fact that it is a spilled glass of wine – right in the middle of Italian wine country, what else would one expect? Lastly, I like the relationship behind the spilled glass of wine and the “no entry” symbol. The way that I see it, the street artist that placed the sticker there had a sense of humor. My interpretation is that in the event that someone accidentally turns down a one-way street, their immediate response would probably solicit an “oh no!” reaction, coupled with a bit of anxiety. This response is not at all unlike the response one might have after spilling a glass of wine, and I believe there was intentional humor behind the placement of this specific sticker on this sign.

After doing some research, I discovered that the art was done by Clet Abraham, a French artist notorious for altering traffic signs with his graphic stickers. Some of his other pieces include transforming a “dead end” sign into a crucifix and turning a “yield” sign into a silly face. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!