sign and symbol

I often find my eyes drawn to signs, especially the bold and simple graphics of traffic signs. (That is, after all, what they are designed to do.) While some people find that the signs can be detracting from a photo, I actually like the way signs can give a sense of place, especially through the language, text and cultural symbols. In other cases, a sign symbol is used so internationally that rather than reminding us of the locality of a site, we are reminded of our connections.

This is all a rather lofty and overblown introduction to a set of photos I have which include “do not enter” signs. The symbol is a red circle with a horizontal white bar, and it appears on signs the world over. (Or, at the very least, many countries around the world.) Here is I selection I have from 4 continents, taken in 5 different years.


In front of the Notre Dame, Paris, France, August, 2007

Sevilla, Spain, September, 2009


Macau, August, 2011

North America:

Boston, MA, USA, October, 2010.

South America:

Campinas, Brazil, May, 2008. (Yes, this last one isn’t actually a sign. It’s the light shining through a circular window onto a red carpet in the hallway of the hotel where I was staying. The window is open slightly in the middle, which caused there to be a brighter bar of light in the circle of light. Try to tell me that this doesn’t look like a do not enter symbol.)

This week’s (okay, last week’s) friday foto finder theme was “circle.” I have oodles of circles in my photo library, but this circular symbol was one that came to mind for the theme.

4 thoughts on “sign and symbol

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