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Some photos are not only about what's inside the frame but also about what's outside of it. They ask you to let your imagination loose and fill in the gaps yourself.

To show you how fun this task can be, we at Bored Panda put together a collection of images with very specific signs, clearly suggesting that they have interesting backstories behind them.

I mean, if a cafe warns you that its syrups aren't hand sanitizers, there must've been something that made them do it.

Continue scrolling to check out the list and upvote your favorite entries—let's see which pictures prompt the most vivid interpretations!

However, if you want to make a sign for your garage sale or even business, you need to consider more than just getting your point across.

Adrian Geach, who has been a signwriter since 1980, told Bored Panda in a previous interview that, "a good sign should be eye-catching, easy to understand and not too wordy with enough negative space around the text or logo, and have a good color scheme."

Geach lives in Wales but can take his brushes anywhere to work on a project. He left school at 16 to undertake a five-year signwriting apprenticeship and said he was lucky enough to be taught by three master craftsmen steeped in the skills of a brush and a pot of paint.

After learning the trade, Geach set up a signmakers business specializing in exhibition and display graphics and embraced the new vinyl and large format technology that was just coming to the forefront.

#4

This Sign On My Parents' Road

This Sign On My Parents' Road

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#5

My Local Library Has This Sign On Their Drop-Off Slot

My Local Library Has This Sign On Their Drop-Off Slot

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Blackheart
Community Member
2 years ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

When in the woods, I tend to yell "I am not a deer," but for different reasons.

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Adrian has been successfully involved in all areas of signage and graphics for decades but not that long ago, he went back to his roots and now concentrates on traditional signwriting.

With the current resurgence of interest in signwriting and hand-rendered work, he utilizes his skills to offer clients a more personal, unique, environmentally friendly, and organic signage solution using old-fashioned materials and techniques.

"A sign might only be looked at for a few seconds so it needs to leave an impression within this time frame, hence the less is more approach," he said.

"There are many factors to take into account when designing a sign but the most important thing is to make sure it doesn't get lost in its surroundings," Geach revealed. 

#8

Nice To See Some Pushback On Insane Parents From My Local Sports Complex

Nice To See Some Pushback On Insane Parents From My Local Sports Complex

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Blackheart
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

So many parents absolutely rely on sports as a college savings plan for their kids, and by the time the kid is ready for college, they are burned out on sports. College is supposed to be about education, lest we forget.

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#9

A Sign At A Windmill Restoration Site In Mykonos, Greece

A Sign At A Windmill Restoration Site In Mykonos, Greece

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Similarly, writing about signs that raise more questions than they provide answers, my colleague Jonas had a talk about common signage mistakes with Lisa McLendon who is the William Allen White Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications and the coordinator of the Bremner Editing Center at the University of Kansas.

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"Don’t carve an error in stone. It’s embarrassing and expensive to fix. Proofreading before you produce, whether it’s stone or not, is absolutely necessary," McLendon said that we should take the time to look over our work before making any permanent decisions.

Lisa also noted that the font that we choose for our sign is incredibly important. "Choose your font with readability in mind. It should be clear and readable at a distance; you don’t want to make people puzzle through a swirly script," she said.

#11

A Sign Outside A Off Strip Casino In Las Vegas. Talk About Pulling A Ferris

A Sign Outside A Off Strip Casino In Las Vegas. Talk About Pulling A Ferris

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#12

In My Local Church

In My Local Church

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Seabeast
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Tell me the hand sanitizer is almost pure alcohol without telling me the hand sanitizer is almost pure alcohol.

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For another Bored Panda piece about editing, proofreading, and kerning—the spacing between letters—McLendon said that word placement, typeface, and kerning are also crucial for effective, professional-looking logos and layouts.

"If it's just a few words, all-caps is fine, but it’s harder for people to read longer blocks of text in all caps. It’s also harder for people to read italic or highly stylized type, or type along a curve instead of a line,” Lisa then explained.

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#14

Found In My High School. I Would Not Like To Know What Necessitated This

Found In My High School. I Would Not Like To Know What Necessitated This

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#16

Sign Posted In Every Booth At A Thai Restaurant In Fargo

Sign Posted In Every Booth At A Thai Restaurant In Fargo

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SAF saf
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I can handle some real spicy food but thai food is on another level. I've been to a place to had a 1-10 scale and i could barely handle 5.

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#17

How Many Karens Does It Take To Make A Sign Like This?

How Many Karens Does It Take To Make A Sign Like This?

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Furthermore, Lisa pointed out that we should look at all the ways in which our words could be misread or read out of order if they’re circled or stacked on top of one another.

If the kerning happens to be too tight, some of the letters could merge into different symbols and result in some (hilariously) embarrassing misreadings.

One example of this is writing the word ‘FLICKERING’ in all caps. If the kerning is too tight, the 'L' and the 'I' merge into a 'U' and you get... That's right.

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Of course, you can always get a professional to do it. In fact, for the past few years, many places have been witnessing the revival of the handpainted sign.

Fed up with the chain culture that is slowly making all the streets look the same, city shops are trying to stand out with custom designs.

It's estimated that there are about 300 full-time signwriters working in the UK alone.

#22

Behind Every Warning Label There's A Story

Behind Every Warning Label There's A Story

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#23

If You Only See Two Signs About A Raccoon Room Today, Make It These Two

If You Only See Two Signs About A Raccoon Room Today, Make It These Two

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#24

This Sign Has Been Stolen Too Many Times I Guess

This Sign Has Been Stolen Too Many Times I Guess

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#25

Stopped At A Gas Station And Saw This Sign On The Entrance Door

Stopped At A Gas Station And Saw This Sign On The Entrance Door

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Blackheart
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I high school, our track uniforms had pockets on the inside of the shorts, in the front. Many a McDonald's meal was paid for with shorts money.

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And it's not just the experienced painters who may have obtained a now obsolete City & Guilds qualification. There's also a young generation interested in all things bespoke.

One of them, signwriting enthusiast Sam Roberts, told The Guardian, "This is a generation that has grown up with computers at the heart of their work and who are seeking to engage with the physical processes that go into producing letter forms."

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Whatever you choose, have fun! As you can see, signs don't have to be boring.

#26

I’ve Never Seen A Hotel Pool Sign So Blunt Before

I’ve Never Seen A Hotel Pool Sign So Blunt Before

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#27

Wonder How Many Times It Happened

Wonder How Many Times It Happened

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CapitalDee 🇺🇦
Community Member
2 years ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

There's a "road" near our place that GPS directs unsuspecting visitors down. If you want puddles, kanga tracks and mud, then you're welcome!

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#29

You Have To Wonder What Happened To Make This Sign On Your Door A Necessity

You Have To Wonder What Happened To Make This Sign On Your Door A Necessity

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#32

When A Cat Runs To The Fridge Every Time It Opens, A Sign Is Necessary

When A Cat Runs To The Fridge Every Time It Opens, A Sign Is Necessary

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ErrorGamer2000
Community Member
2 years ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Love this one. Even though this is a repost, still never gets old XD

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#33

There's A Story Behind Every Sign Like This

There's A Story Behind Every Sign Like This

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#34

A Great Sign I Found At Auckland Zoo

A Great Sign I Found At Auckland Zoo

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#35

The Fact They Even Needed To Put This Sign Up

The Fact They Even Needed To Put This Sign Up

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Elwood Schwartz (it/that)
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

When cemeteries were planned out in the 18/1900s they were designed as park areas to hang out, have a picnic and such.

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#37

Behind Every Sign There's A Story

Behind Every Sign There's A Story

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Alaina Jones
Community Member
2 years ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm so glad they made this sign! I have seen many oreo cookie monsters roaming the aisles and they're a real pain in the butt to deal with.

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#38

There's A Story Behind Every Warning

There's A Story Behind Every Warning

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#39

Someone Must've Made A Terrible Mistake

Someone Must've Made A Terrible Mistake

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#40

When You Thought You Look Cool But You Look Like A Garbage Can

When You Thought You Look Cool But You Look Like A Garbage Can

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Lisa H
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Then quit making sh1t that looks like other sh1t. I would definitely think this is a trash can.

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#42

That Happens Enough To Need A Sign

That Happens Enough To Need A Sign

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#43

Is It Saying I Should Help The Hitchhikers?

Is It Saying I Should Help The Hitchhikers?

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#45

What Happened Here

What Happened Here

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#46

Important Hand Washing Rules To Follow

Important Hand Washing Rules To Follow

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#48

If We’re Doing Small-Town Bar Bathroom Signs, Here’s One I Saw Recently

If We’re Doing Small-Town Bar Bathroom Signs, Here’s One I Saw Recently

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#49

There's A Story Behind Every Sign

There's A Story Behind Every Sign

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#50

What Happened Here

What Happened Here

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Note: this post originally had 89 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.