Zone No and the Replacement Parts

On Sunday we spent some time at Switch on Agricola St – that wonderful event when the street is closed to cars and self propelled folks flood the space.


Among  the many visual joys I was attracted by some signs connected to a musical performance: sophisticated, urban and perfect for their setting.

September 20147

When I tweeted them and some other sign images my colleague at Bloggers suggested these would make a good post.  I’m easily encouraged cause signs are us.  Let me show you.

I had paired the urban signs with a couple of more rural signs that both approximate official signs.  The horse crossing pictograph (near Wallace) is so carefully painted it’s clear my horse  is crossing and I love my horse. The hand cut stencil and upper and lower case letters really makes you believe  that ChiLDREN are present (Fergusons Cove).


Here is an other example where the letter form helps communicate the message. This sign at the Cole Harbour Trail was produced quickly after Hurricane Juan.  Most of the message  uses commercial stencils  but “DANGER” needed to be bold and was hand cut.  Looked like danger to me.


When I noticed this sign on the side of the YMCA I just stood there and felt a wave of affection and sadness for the sign writer. Each letter was cut and stenciled individually, it would have taken hours. And then the sign says nothing or the opposite of what it means. “Zone No” is a great phrase though.


Let’s look at some signs that are more joyful.  This fruit stand in Grand Pré is a masterpiece of integrating words with architecture (and I’m a huge fan of arrows).


This  sign at the Seaport Market is brilliant in its simplicity. It says just enough. No need to add “homemade.”


One of my all time favourite signs and a reminder to record /preserve what you love. For decades it was on a plumbing supply company  in a building on the Mother’s Pizza  location.  When stopped at the  lights we would often point and say “hard to get replacement parts.” In fact we still do. . . because hilarious. Need I mention the arrow?


A  precise little sign in Sheet Harbour is appropriate for someone who ties fishing flies.


And to end, here is the restoration of old signage in Mill Village.  A community store has been saved by using it as a work experience project for clients of the local sheltered workshop.  A beautiful site and a beautiful idea – see fellow bloggers The Local Traveler’s post.


About the author

Stephen Archibald

It’s Stephen Archibald doing the noticing. I’m a huge fan of Nova Scotia’s material culture and cultural landscapes. Twitter (@Cove17 ) made me realize I could share what attracted my attention (perfect for my very short attention) and I’m gratified when folks enjoy my content. Pleased to meet you on the internet.