Decorative Street Signs

Portugal…the home of Piri Piri chicken and Cristiano Ronaldo but also wonderfully decorative street signs. Travelling within the UK, I would say street signs are not the most exciting thing to look at on a daily commute. Black lettering on a white background, held up on metallic posts. However on a recent trip to the South of Portugal street signs became a whole lot more interesting.

On a holiday I am not one to lie in the sun all day gaining a new shade of skin colour. I love to explore and visit local towns or villages which have not been tampered by the vast amount of Brits which are moving abroad. On one trip to the local village of Loulé I began to notice the decorative plaques on the walls. They were on most of the walls and at first I did not know their use. It was only until I found the small translation section at the back of our Portuguese guidebook had the word, ‘Rua’ translated to mean ‘Street.’

I couldn’t believe that the Portuguese had put so much effort into their street signs so on the next trip out I began to look at them more closely and I became more and more intrigued at each one. The signs seemed to be tiled onto the walls of each street but the patterns in which they had produced around the lettering were magical. Even the typeface used was something special and complimented the intricate design. Street by street these signs were tiled onto the wall but each with their own individual style. I then began to think would the signs work within the UK? I came to the conclusion that however wonderful these signs were they would not work in the UK and it would also take the joy out of visiting these other cultures if we decided to take their ways of portraying things such as street names.


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