Friday, August 28, 2009

When setting a price won't do, use a sign...

This week is Picture Week on This Young Economist. Every post tells a story, and every story begins with a picture.

Today's post wraps up Picture Week with several pictures of zany signs.

What do you do when the City of Chicago places a seemingly-permanent construction zone on top of your business? Potbelly Sandwich Works on State Street has a creative solution:



I love it. This sign turns a liability ("we're covered in construction") into an asset ("come to our unique sandwich shop. We disguised it a construction site... with the help of some city employees.").

Speaking of doing two things at once, this sign on the Springfield public bus is like two signs in one



Before reading this one, I would not have identified the common link between a soda cup and a to-go coffee cup as being "paper cups with plastic lids." Now, I will.

On that same bus, there was also an interesting pricing scheme:



The sign is confusing (if you want it to be). If I have eight kids with me, do I pay $0.50 total because I have more than 2 children? Or, do I pay $0.50 for every child after my second one? Or, if I have 3 or more, do I pay $0.50 per child?

The sign's wording doesn't clarify that for me.

Here's another sign that was posted to deal with a very specific problem:


The sign is posted at the McDonalds at Navy Pier. People like to rollerblade on the pier, which creates a very special problem for the Navy Pier McDonalds. The sign is odd out of context, but it probably does the trick.

Lastly, I love a sign that incorporates humor. I found this one in the restroom at Lincoln's Law Offices in Springfield. I think it speaks for itself:


Or, maybe it isn't the sign that's doing the talking.

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