40 Failed Sign Designs With Laughable Mixed MessagesBy Ragini A
Marketing can be confusing. Words? The absolute worst. When you are given the job of being super clear to get across a message, there is pressure to be perfect. Obviously, there is a chance you will bomb, at least sometimes. Here, bombing refers to messing up the wording to the extent that people feel dizzy while deciphering what you’re trying to say. We would hope this was rare, but a glance online proves us wrong. Some of these are so bad it’s almost humiliating! There are intelligent people, and then there are…people who print already cryptic sentences on t-shirts in the WRONG order. Not sure what we’re getting at? Scroll through this post to see 40 of the worst and most hilarious mess-ups in posters, ads, and street signs.
“To Plastic No Say Straw.” Yes. That is what we read, and that’s what everyone who sees this would read it as. Of course, our brains are competent, so we would figure out that that isn’t the message of the words, but come on!
It sounds like you have to shout out the word “straw” if you want to avoid plastic, which seems incredibly useless. We want to applaud this place for trying, though, but even if we read the sign correctly, it is still problematic… “Say No To Plastic StrawS.”
We sure hope this isn’t supposed to be a washroom sign with directions of where people are supposed to go because if it were us, we would just be confused and have an accident (if you know what we mean.)
“Men Because Women To The Are Left Always Right.” This board can be a little…problematic, but we’ll take it honestly. Women are RIGHT, and lads, there is no shame in accepting you’re wrong if it makes your lady happy and smiley, right?
Jesus. That is all we need to say because what in the world. Obviously, someone who is not a big fan of the entire thing ended up designing and creating this sign because why and how else could this happen?
This photo is in black and white right now, but we can straight up imagine it being lit up by those bright red LED lights that flicker every now and then. Imagine this in an episode of Stranger Things. Yeah.
Look, let’s just put this out there and set the record straight: women go through enough nonsense every single day. Whether they’re grown adults or teenage girls, they simply don’t have time for foolishness. If you’re a brand looking to celebrate Women’s Day in style…
Maybe consult a woman about how to make the day about women? If a woman had laid eyes on this poster before it was posted and launched, this wouldn’t be as messy and man-centric as it appears to be! “Woo! Men”
Yes, we will “Stay Save Home Lives” for sure, you gorgeous lady with insane makeup skills and zero common sense. We’re assuming this was a covid 19 pandemic lockdown-related ‘look,’ and we’re glad this lady used her account to remind people to stay home.
But we don’t think she succeeded. Apart from the fact that people still got covid, we don’t think her message is very clear. It’s okay; everyone makes mistakes. We hope she knows why she’s on this list, though.
This is the prime example of both honest marketing and terrible marketing. Because what kind of a loony customer wouldn’t want to buy a “guaranteed reduced quality” food product, right? Even if someone reduced it, what is being reduced exactly? But to be honest…
It is ultimately deep-fried chicken, so they’re not actually wrong in calling it reduced quality. Sorry not sorry, fried chicken fans, but reducing – hehe, get it? – a protein source like chicken down to this? Nah. Allow us to agree to disagree.
We don’t even want to try copying down what this looks like but we will do it because we love our audience, you guys. “WH DO LEA NG FO GN NG GE Y O… must we go on?” But yes, we have the same reaction as you. Our mouths are wide open, and we are waiting to slap the person who put this up.
There is rage in you, and there is rage in us, and the saddest part is that we can’t do a thing about this person asking a classroom full of people learning a new language this question. We’ve got to admit, it’s a great question, but the presentation gets a zero from us.
This is serious. If we were in charge of writing – or what looks like clawing – words of caution and warning on the back of a van with a wild animal inside, we would make sure we get the statement absolutely perfect.
“Don’t Animal Open Inside” is….confusing. Some innocent fool might just open the trunk of the van thinking the animal stuck inside needs to be rescued, brought out and taken away from the stupid people who were dumb enough to write such an incorrect sign.
“Hello this is everybody your normal has one dose of…” something. Terrible marketing because frankly, we don’t even want to try getting to the end, so we’ve completely missed out on what the actual point of this window is.
Luckily, it doesn’t look like the shop owners spent a whole lot of money on this paint job. Honestly, we sure hope they got a refund. We would demand one, wouldn’t you? Everyone has one the Imaginarium… We think you should tone down your the Imaginarium.
You’re walking out of your Zumba class or whatever, and you see this spray-painted on your car. What is the first thing you do, look around for a person named “Call” to make them “pregnat”, or do you cry because you understand the message.
Good for you, being able to decipher “I’m pregnat Call me” from that messy situation and note. But also, you’re a shitty person if the person you’ve made pregnant has to run around after you to get you to call them.
Generally, when we see stop signs or speed limit boards, we abide by them. But if we were driving and saw this sign, we might laugh a little too much and accidentally press harder on the accelerator. Oh man, smh.
Honestly, though, signs like these really need punctuation or a more significant gap in the middle because what is it? Are you asking us to slow down, or are you describing the speed of the very slow children that are playing?
The first line is going okay, you know, like “welcome have a”. They went wrong with the “welcome to class” and it makes us sad because creating this font on a whiteboard by hand is a PAIN. Try it yourself and we’ll talk.
We’re going to assume this was written by a teacher and teachers are down right underpaid and hardworking so we get it, but if this is supposed to be the first day of a new semester, this teacher is already lagging on their sleep.
We like coffee. We love coffee! We start our day with coffee, and at this point, we need it as we start our day, dragging our feet out of bed with our eyes still shut. How else do you think we manage to wake ourselves up and find hilarious content for you!
But if we have to walk into this god-forsaken kitchen and see these tiles across the room while making our espresso shot and waiting for our water to heat up, we would throw our mocha pot at the tile to break it. That’s it.
Look, we love it when teachers try to get with the times and incorporate fun shows and fandoms to jazz up their classrooms. Frankly, this teacher got it spot on! But the final presentation, come on. This is BASIC and a bit embarrassing for a TEACHER.
Unless the teacher absolutely meant to say, “don’t the turn and grades let semester you your upside down”. Which we’re confident they did not mean. But the reference to the creepy show and the upside down? Spot on, so you still get points.
If you have ever gotten a tattoo, you have given it a fair bit of thought. There are very few people with the spontaneity of getting a tattoo without thinking about it, and thats okay! Sometimes, we wish we were cool enough…
You know, get tattoos whenever, wherever, not a care in the world. But then we see tattoos like these, and we whisper a prayer of gratitude that we have anxiety and overthink every decision we make. It’s worked out for us so far.
This reminds us of the ‘I’m Call Pregnat me” photo just a few pictures earlier on this list. The messaging is all wrong, the paint and handwriting seem similar, and the angst is genuine. But the question is, “you back ready?”
We’re sorry; we can’t stop laughing at this. If you’re TRYING to be a messenger for someone as big as Jesus, you would have HAD to have given the way you deliver this message some kind of thought. Or no?
We have no idea what “Asstmchri” is, but it looks fancy, golden, and expensive. So needless to say, we want to celebrate it with our friends. It goes with the vibe, and we’re sure you understand. If you don’t, don’t worry…
“Sorry, not everybody fits in the bad girl genre; it’s a genre, and not everyone fits on the roster.” jokes and TikTok trends apart; what in the actual world is this, and who approved this? Are they desperately trying to ruin some people’s most loved holiday??
No matter which direction we read this in – we even tried diagonal, like scrabble cheating – This. Makes. No. Sense. To. Any. Of. Us. What? There are a lot of hearts, and then there’s a name of a Hindu god.
So we are going to go out on a limb here and assume that this is some peace-loving religious convention that is being spoken off on this poster, but we’re still nearly as confused as when we first saw this.
What is with people, letters, and placing them in a zig-zag formation. A, it doesn’t look good. B, it is so confusing! And C, it’s like they want to watch someone reading their board or sign and moving their heads like they’re watching a tennis match from a painful angle.
This is supposed to be a time of celebration, new year blessings, Santa, and gifts, not weird crossword puzzles where all the letters are already filled in, but customers need to figure out which alphabet goes where. It does not hurt to measure out before to ensure all your letters fit before sacrificing a sign in this manner.
No matter how awkward you think signs like these are, there is no denying it; everyone needs a hug, a cry, and a solid piece of motivation now and then. This poster below though, is not going to cut it. Not now, not ever.
Being precise with words is a massive part of how you help people. What even are we supposed to take away from “you are than you seem.” This was entirely painful to try to read and made some of us feel very stupid.
Missing someone you lost is rarely ever a good feeling. Nostalgia apart, death and grief can be a challenging experience filled with emotions to process for years to come. Many people find tattoos an excellent way to memorialize the person or animal they miss.
But sometimes, SOMETIMES, the tattoos end up giving the wrong message. Here’s hoping that no one who consistently misses Ray Ray sees this person’s back tattoo because we read it as “always forgotten, missed never,” which isn’t the best sentiment.
This straight-up reads like a question to us, like, we can envision this as a scene in the Bee Movie. “Hey, don’t bees open OUTSIDE?”. Yes, bees open outside, and we guess inside too. If by open you too thought about going doodoo, we’re on the same page.
It reminds us of the animal warning that we showed earlier on this list. COME ON, people. If you’re coming up with a warning sign for people’s safety and health, make it a point to write coherently. The poor human might think they need to go outside in the swarm to open something.
Who knew eating nachos and salsa or guac could get this creepy and downright violent?? We sure didn’t. It doesn’t help the cause that the single nacho in the sketch has googly eyes and a tongue sticking out like it’s hungry for humans.
Who even THOUGHT this was okay?? “When you dip, we dip dip” EW. Why does no one use the standard English left-to-right system of writing anymore? It is CLEAR and has been a way of writing for YEARS for a reason!!
Anyone who has been to Washington knows that the place is clean, chill, and sounds nothing like a place that could be called “Washi Wangton”. We get it; the code for the state is WA, but if a sane person designed this….
Who are we kidding, obviously, someone very much not sane or happy in their lives designed this to trouble every single person who will ever read this—what a shame. Also, now, we’re all hungry and craving wantons. UGH. Dim sum, anyone?
Honestly, look. We know it’s meant to say “Saturdays New York City.” But even if it was more apparent and not “Sat New Urd York Ays City,” we still wonder what it means? Like yeah, it’s a Saturday in New York City?
But it is also a Saturday every where else, right? And what if it’s not a Saturday? What if this person wore this shirt on a Wednesday, of all things. What does this even MEAN? You can probably see, that this one got us frustrated.
The minute we saw this movie poster, we knew it had to be on our list. Also, hey, Don’t, we’re hungry. Get it? Hehe. But seriously, imagine going up to the movie ticket counter to buy one for yourself, and you get the movie’s name wrong…
All because the designers behind this stupid movie poster chose to prioritize being wrong over right! How embarrassing. But also, if they can get away with jobs like these and still be employed, can we too? Isn’t it romantic?
If someone yelled to us, or we saw on a wall somewhere, “Spread cream, not cheese disease,” we would entirely think they were quoting one of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books or movies because of the cheese touch thing they had going on.
Also, honestly, yeah, don’t spread diseases and mask up if you’re sick, but why in the world…would we spread cream cheese instead…? Is that a thing that happens and is socially acceptable? We can imagine people standing on the corner of the street spreading cream cheese on passersby.
This is one of the rare signs that though miswritten, still makes sense. This could easily be taken as a warning or a reminder for those annoying people who always have to take photos of their meals and ‘display’ them online before actually enjoying the meal.
But we know what this means, and okay, we reluctantly agree not to eat your displays, although they look absolutely realistic and yummy, and we’re hungry. All the talk about wantons and cream cheese… We wonder how many people tried to sneak a bite of the display.
Where you stand on this entire thing doesn’t matter here, but this board is asking us to stand hong with a kong, and we can’t deny this beautiful woman’s plea. If you see two people named Hong and Kong – we said IF – take a photo of them…
standing next to each other. And send it to us, please. This, again, is meant to be a strong message, and instead of saying and depicting what it should, it ends up on this list for infuriating us and making some of us laugh.
This person… whoever designed this sweatshirt, our prayers are with you. Entirely. Good lord. How do you not see that what you tried to make artistic and aesthetic just looks dumb? Alphabet letters falling from the word ‘diamond’ was not a good idea…
Now it reads ‘I am Dond or I am D-ond,’ which is pathetic and straight-up looks like a failed attempt and memeing James Bond. Great, now we’re thinking about James Dond and who the next James Dond is going to be. Perfect.
Whenever we see the word ‘midget,’ we think of ‘piglet’ it’s a problem, and we hope we’re not the only ones. ANYWAY, so this sign is supposed to be about a bouncy house, likely at a carnival or birthday party.
This is one of the few times when the mistake could have worked out because, you know, kids under the age of 6 are technically small people. But no, they just had to go and write the entire thing with “mid get the town down.” Sad.
We’ll get to the words and how they’re written in just a second, but we have a question. Why in the world is the top right corner frame showing the word ‘assassin’… is that supposed to be a value now, like ‘equality’…?
We’re so confused, anyway, and now this thing reads “equ aff ass” and a whole bunch of downright gibberish. Why would anyone want these words displayed on their wall anyway? It’s like you’re trying to show people you’re a dumb person.
“SHOSPLE COLUPIS”. That’s it. What is wrong with teachers, back-to-school themes, and students who are supposed to be smarter than this coming up with these idiotic signage techniques. We would never buy anything at this store if we saw this.
This reminds us, that school is out soon! Summer break, no work, nothing to do, unless your parents push you to get a job or something, which will be fantastic! Soon enough, you won’t need any more school supplies. Time flies by so fast.
See this is exactly what we would be looking for if we had to book tickets for a basketball game. You don’t get it, do you? The die-hard fan will obviously go for the game, but the unsuspecting time-wasters…
They will see this dumb poster and not buy tickets, thinking it will be “non-action and stop excitement” event; and well, who wants to pay for that. THAT means, more tickets for us! We sure hope the poster is wrong, though and that these matches are solid.
Vintage movie signs and boards like these are missed by many, but maybe it was a good idea that we got alternatives because we wouldn’t go watch a movie called “there will definitely be blood, maybe.” The funniest bit, though?
They are both VERY different movies, and it truly is a marvel that there were people in that building when this photo was taken that are so different from each other. How do they manage to walk in knowing they won’t be murdered? Who knows.
“Hear that noise we are growing we can fix it again apply inside” sounds like these people know they mess up repairs for their customers on purpose so they can tell them to visit them ‘again.’ This is so confusing!
We didn’t even realize that this is a board shared by two different brands all together. You would think leading marketing companies would have the brains to put a dividing line or something in the middle of the messages, but NO.
Yes, because everyone knows that “teachers who love teach children teaching to love learning.” If you think hard about this, this text can make sense if it wants to, desperately, but that just means we skip a generation of kids who could be taught to love learning.
That is what the board is trying to say, right? Because at this point, all we can see are words floating around. We hope this was meant to say, “teachers who love teaching teach children to love learning.” We dare you to say this five times fast.
If we were Santa and saw this in someone’s house, we would fully sprint away and make sure no one in that house got a present for Christmas. What does “Santa Stop Please Here” even mean? It does not work.
If you’re asking Santa to stop, put out some cookies and milk! Like normal people! You shouldn’t have to or even want to buy something like this. And who even made this? We’re not mean, so we hope they got their Christmas bonus at the time, but WOW, they messed up.
Okay this took a while to decipher because it has three patterns of mistakes all wrapped into one. No, this doesn’t say “Attention, you are not our trollies”, though that should be obvious, and no, it doesn’t say “you are allowed not to take.”
Have you figured it out yet? The notice says “Attention Students: You are not allowed to take our trollies to help you move.” We sure are concerned about why the students can’t use them and how the kids are managing otherwise.
Who said the irony is dead? Oh, wait, no one. We can’t tell if this is a wisecrack by the creator behind this, or they truly couldn’t see what they did here, but either way, we hope this isn’t visible from the road.
We’re not worried about the average driver, but every now and then there is a driver who thinks they are better than everyone else on the road and might want to prove it by trying to read both the messages in this sign.