People like to collect weird stuff: old typewriters, salt and pepper shakers, Coke cans from around the world. At Hollister Creative, we collect bad signs that could have used some proofreading.

When we’re out and about, we take pictures of signage boo-boos. We have three categories for them. Below are recent examples in each.

  • DO expect your writing and editing to be held to a very high standard when it is begging for public attention on a sign.
  • DON’T put up a sign that contains a spelling or grammar error, no matter how much you paid for it. Fix it and pay again.

Examples of signs that needed proofreading1. Questionable but forgivable
While this sign’s misspelling of “its” gives us grammatical indigestion, we’ll get over it. It’s an ephemeral hand-drawn sign in a grocery store. We won’t insist on perfection. Plus, cute crab. Pass the cocktail sauce.

2. Unquestionably unforgivable
If you sell it, you must spell it correctly. That is our stationary position and we will not be moved. If the thing you sell is part of your business name, look it up in a dictionary before you have it mounted on your storefront.

3. Forgive us for laughing
Holy hot mess of ironic doom. Let’s paraphrase this sign: Hello, there! I’m the big-blue-eyed cyclops of marketing! I come from the land of mauve clouds and mascara. I want to help you with your marketing, but I’m too myopic to proofread my own tagline on my own trade show banner.

If you enjoy bad signs, too, take a picture of one and email it to us. We will share it on Facebook with our 2,600+ fans who also enjoy proofreading.

Have a marketing challenge? Call Kim Landry at 484-829-0021 or email [email protected].


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