Sign Language

The peeps at the extinct Bad Gas website did what no-one else has been bored enough to do and collected photos of pound shop signs. Here’s a selection (all following text and pictures courtsey of © Bad Gas 2003-2007)

The pound coin; the word “pound”; the £ symbol. They stimulate a Pavlovian buying reflex in poor people…The unavoidable logic of the Regal-smoking, dole-sucker runs thus: “That shop sells all sorts of crap for a pound; I have some pounds in my pocket; I will buy all sorts of crap.” Tapping into this thought process is the key to clawing back some of your income tax.

As with all successful low-end retail operations, you need a shop front that can lure the blurry-tattooed, pushchair-pushing, burger-munchers away from the daily booze-and-fags run to Budgens. To this end, you need four ingredients: clumsy wording, pound signs, tattiness and tackiness.

Bright colours can be a very useful tool for hypnotising penniless passers-by. But make sure the shop looks dirty enough or they won’t feel comfortable entering.

Remember: the customer always has a choice. But apparently not the choice to pay just one pound. The shifty plus signs lurk amidst the gaily dancing pounds to ensure that the Trade Descriptions Act is obeyed. Clever.

Smash the punter in the face with a big green word. And it works, too. This shop is so popular that people have been stealing pieces of the sign as mementoes.

A hand-painted fascia can give your outlet a personal air. And the sinister coin shape lurking behind the list of items on sale is a consumer psychologist’s wet dream.

There are so many letters missing in this sign that the pound-shopper has to stop and stare to work out what it says. By that stage they are hooked.

Advertisements