The True Honest Sign

It lives in the woods of West Virginia. It is quiet and non-intrusive. It is natural and it feels organic in the sense that no added ingredients interfered with its production. The most honest sign you could possibly see.

Bear's Lope and Cedar Run crossing in Cacapon, West Virginia
When looking at this sign, I couldn't avoid thinking about what's in a sign that makes it work. I thought of 3 key elements to consider: 1) it obviously needs to be positioned in the right place so it helps you find your way, 2) it needs to communicate directions clearly, and 3) and most of the times overlooked, it needs to be true to its context and surrounding environment.

I can go on and on about this sign's greatness and what makes it beautiful. Its design shows respect for the environment it was placed in. Its simplicity speaks to the passersby instead of yelling at them.  Its style clicks with the visitor who wants to experience nature. Its voice, even though mute, makes an emotional connection.

If we do a quick analysis of its fashion, the color is right to naturally blend in and surprise you. The font lacks embellishments but represents its context perfectly and communicates the immediate message. It's texture is precise and friendly because it belongs. 

How many times we wanted to be heard so badly that we have displayed our message so prominently that we have forgotten about its surroundings? How many times our message has gone unnoticed because we overlooked its context and got lost in irrelevant  embellishments?

Next time you are working on your message and how to display it in a way that creates a connection, think about its surroundings. As in a road trip to the mountains of West Virginia, pay attention to the basics of simplicity and the natural state of things.

Dirt road in Cacapon, West Virginia