Strike a Pose

“Selfie signs” have global appeal.
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. Photo by Lano Lan.

Few things are as internationally popular as the selfie phenomenon. But, before you deride this trend as young people desperately documenting every interaction, understand that signmakers have always taken selfies. Admit it, you have taken hundreds of photos of yourself with signs. From the random trip to a new restaurant, to your most recent summer vacation, if the sign is interesting, you round up the family and snap a picture. Your kids grunt and obey.

So, the next time you chuckle at teens gathering for a selfie, reflect about how ridiculous you might’ve looked contorting so that the “Hollywood” sign was visible just above your head, or why you risked life and limb to cross that busy intersection to pose with the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign.

A new type of sign is making the constant desire to document our adventures easier (and safer) to achieve. Cities all over the world are installing “selfie signs” and placing them in prominent locations. The cross-cultural appeal of these signs beckons tourists, locals, wedding parties (and signmakers) to strike a pose.

The signs themselves exhibit a surprising amount of similarities. Most selfie signs are sturdily-constructed block-letters that allow for crowds climbing on – and posing with – them.

No matter where you live, there’s likely one of these signs nearby. So drop your inhibitions, and take that selfie!

Signs of the Times January 2019

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