Signs of the Times - August 2016 - (Page 104)

Ed it o r i a lly S p e aki n g By Robin Donovan Robin Donovan is ST's Editor-inChief. Email her at robin.donovan@ Why I Deleted My Last Column And replaced it with this I 'm writing this at midnight - or 3 a.m. EDT, my laptop informs me. I should be finishing a feature, one that is now past a polite overdue point and into a red zone. However, I can't take my eyes off Google News, Twitter, Facebook and the incessant reports of shooting after shooting, atrocity after atrocity. The Reuters photo of the woman who stood her ground ... the video protesters who crossed lines, literally and figuratively, to momentarily forget about #blacklivesmatter and #alllivesmatter and, instead, embrace one another. I swear off Facebook, then return for another look. I draft posts only to delete them. What is one more voice, mine, in a swirl of outrage and protest? What is one more white voice? Ram Dass, a funky old spiritual guru famous for his wisdom and his wild youth, once wrote a letter to a grieving couple after the death of their daughter. He said, "Our rational minds can never understand what The All-Nite Images; Dallas New York City 104 SIGNS OF THE TIMES August 2016 has happened, but our hearts - if we can keep them open ... will find their own intuitive way." That's the best explanation I've come up with so far. But the quote, despite its beauty, is still more of a salve than a solution. Full disclosure: I took a religious word out of that quote to make it 100% impossible to argue with. I'm sick of arguments. And shootings. And videos of bloody protesters and the bloody signs reflecting a passion that makes silence seem worse and worse. One Oregon sign read, "Silence is violence." Earlier, I wrote words to fill this space. It was the one thing I did ahead of time this month. I am discarding those words. Instead, I remember the words on the protester's signs. In the photographs, their voices are silent, but their messages coin phrases destined for history. Let's lay down political affiliations and the messy mix of fear and passion they arouse. Let's come together on a single point: Signs are more than corporate logos and artful taglines. We make such a point in ST to offer on-the-ground information, reporting the what-and-how's of signmaking, down to the last bevel and ballast. However, for a moment, with no commercial inspiration, I'm in awe of signs: their power to convey a complex message, their immediacy, their ubiquity in these protests. A sign, whether professionally designed or scribbled onto a piece of posterboard, is a rare vehicle for communicating - today, it's self-expression in protest. We don't simply see photos of assembled protesters; we see them standing together, holding signs. Each sign is a bow to human courage, solidarity and ingenuity. It's all there, the best qualities of America made public despite hesitation, fear, pain, ugliness - and menacing streets. Today, like yesterday, your doors will swing open for customers. But, hopefully you've come away from the latest news with a deeper respect for what you create, and a new understanding for how signage - in all its forms - fits into this national picture. It's a small thing, to appreciate one's industry, given all the crashing changes around us. But it's not really about self-pride. It's about finding your - our - place in what's happening; acknowledging unequal rights but shared fears. That is the tenuous thread that still remains, holding us together. n

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - August 2016

Signs of the Times - August 2016
ST Update
Technology Update
Why You Should Invest in a Color-Management Device
Vinyl Apps
Strictly Electric
LED Update
Software Update
Technology Review - Epson SureColor S80600
Technology Review - The AXYZ Trident
Shop Ops
Sign Museum News
New Products
Digging Deep
Writing on the Wall
Dostoevsky and the Crane Truck
Penn State Study Assesses Font Legibility
A Crossroads Celebration
Advertising Index
Editorially Speaking

Signs of the Times - August 2016