Have you ever seen a sign at your local coffee shop or in a retail store that surprised you? Maybe it gave you a good laugh and hopefully, it got you to pay attention more than you would have if it was saying it the same, boring and typical way. While this applies mostly to businesses with a physical location and/or storefront, we think it can also apply to your online presence. The simple gist is, signs and placeholders are a great place to change things up in ways that stand out and are even more effective with your audiences. Have fun with what you’re communicating by getting creative. Here are some tips on how to do that in a way that won’t come back and bite you and some great examples.


It seems like this wouldn’t have to be explained, but you want to make sure and not offend while at the same time cleverly bring some humor to the topic that your sign or message is about. There’s where a good go-to list can be helpful.

  • Keep the objective of your message clear
  • Think of changing things up not only in the wording, but with the images
  • Check any laws that apply to your business and the signs/messages that you’re required to show, making sure that you follow any specific guidelines about exact wording and if you’re allowed to change or display it differently.
  • Do NOT use or even imply racial, derogatory or sexists language.
  • Steer away from including or referring to topics of race, gender, or other culture-sensitive elements.
  • Circle it back around to, and keep in mind, your target audiences and customers.

This No-Smoking sign is in the patio of River North Brewery in downtown Denver. We’re so grateful that they make sure their patio is smoke-free and they do it in a creative, humorous way.




Here are some funny restroom signs:


And of course some great safety signs:


Have you had fun with any signage and messaging you use? Send us your examples here and share the laughter.