Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Signs of the Times

One of my daughters says that she finds a lot of the graphic design in Budapest somehow depressing. I can see how she might - much of it is left over from the 50s, I think, and there is an oddly grim austerity about it.

All the same, I'm perversely fond of it and will be sad when every trace of it has disappeared, as it will inevitably - along with the many funny little businesses that look as though they have no right to exist in the sleek 21st century:

(Actually I think this blue and red one may be a newly put-up attempt at being 'retro' so possibly someone has picked up the idea that foreigners like me actually find the stuff appealing)

I think this one is probably post-1989, but it's still rather more bluntly explicit than anything you'd find in Canberra:

On the other hand, maybe I could say goodbye to Communist-era signs, if it meant getting rid of the ridiculous floor protectors country museums still insist, out of a spirit of Socialist bloody-mindedness, that visitors have to tie on over their shoes:


  1. The quaint - rather 'dapper' - signs on Hungarian businesses are indeed appealing and I do hope they don't pull them all down. Romanians running similar businesses - though the workmanship itself might not necessarily be inferior - would just scrawl something on a bit of corrugated iron with an arrow vaguely pointing to the garage in which the artisan was plying his trade. Or better still just rely on word of mouth...

  2. cool pictures Z, love things like this

  3. Nurse, I must remember to include some Canberra signs when I get home.
    Gadjo, perhaps they would appreciate the civilising influence of a nice Hungarian government to show them how to do things properly?
    Thanks, Worm.

  4. Zedders, no they wouldn't - 'nice' would come with a lot of racially chauvinistic baggage, as before, it is presumed.

  5. You rose to that bait extremely satisfactorily.

  6. Well then I'm glad that I satisfy you - one does one's best. 'Presumed' by them, was my point - I've always suspected that Hungarian rule wasn't as bad Romanians claim it was and that many bad stories were whipped up in the communist era to shift popular dissastifactions away from The Party on to other ethnicities. But you probably don't really give a damn, I guess.

  7. I do, give a damn, I do really; I was only being very bad and indulging my disgraceful fondness for teasing. I am so sorry. I think it probably wasn't too bad, as you say, but then again who wants to be ruled over?