Accidental Meaning

April 12, 2010

Sometimes meaning is unintended. Here’s an example I ran across recently that couples hand written text and improper installation to create new meaning.


It’s from a panel of scaffolding on a neighborhood home renovation. Obviously, the panel has been installed upside down and the text is supposed to read, “520 W.”

Instead, when viewed upside down — and very importantly, with the specific handwriting — it now reads, “Moes”

There’s something wonderful in how the “2” transforms into a lowercase “e” right in the middle of what appears to be an all uppercase word. And the number “5” doesn’t always make a good capital letter “S” but yet it works in this case. Additionally, there appears to be no space between the zero and the “W” helping to create a single word. All very accidental and more wonderful for the fact.

Beyond typography and design, it also made me think of “Moe’s Tavern” from The Simpsons.