Holey Signage?

Sometimes real-world observations of absurdities can trigger relevant questions about design.

1MVP Funny Law Public Space Signage USA

In the past decade, islands like Puerto Rico and St. Thomas (part of the US Virgin Islands) have faced major damage from hurricanes. Most notably, the category-5 hurricanes Maria and Irma hit the islands within 10 days of each other.

A hurricane-prone environment?

This sign seems to have a really interesting physical design!

Some municipalities actually legally require the addition of ‘wind vents’ for large signage. In fact, a group of researchers set out to test the efficacy of such wind vents – and challenge the thinking behind those laws.

Their key takeaways:

  • The wind-loads varied depending on if it was a solid or ‘billowing’ type sign. (The original thinking, and subsequent legislation, seems to have mostly stemmed from science related to non-solid structures.)
  • A “swiss-cheese” type design might actually significantly reduce wind loads.

So, is this an example of innovative sign modifications?

No wait, they’re actually bullet holes.

Definitely bullet holes.

But, it really does beg the question: what type of resiliency should be built into physical information systems within any area?