Not sure if this is as bad as the turning homeless people into wi-fi hotspots, but it's pretty damn close. A horrendous perversion of our industry and a real bad damn example of activism. Because that's what homeless people need - not a supportive structure to help get them back on their feet, but good visual branding.
This and stuff like 40 Days of Dating really paints a bad light on us and really explains why 70% of CEOs have zero faith in their marketing departments nowadays - because we're so damn in love with ourselves and how great and supposedly relevant we think we are it gets in the way of actually making an attempt to solve problems in our society.
70% of CEO's wouldn't look twice at a homeless person!
This is a good cause, and I see what your saying... But it's better than doing nothing, and that's (unfortunately) what most do these days. The homeless are part of our society.
If we're measuring the success of these based on legibility, the original signs are better.
I think if the signs were to be auctioned off and the money raised goes to help them, that would make a immediate impact. Right now, it feels like the designers are doing this just to get a little attention. Intentions might good, but I think it just need to be thought through.
The personal profiles in the posts are very compelling and I enjoy the designed signs, but in every case shown here, I personally find that the original signs evoke more of a connection with the sign bearer. The handwriting conveys lots of information and these originals are quite legible and well done considering the circumstances.
LET'S ALL COMPLAIN ABOUT GENEROSITY.
I was ready to cringe at this project, but I was won over by the personal stories. It's not about the damn signs or the designers' ego, but giving some voice to those featured.
I live in Cambridge, and recognize some of these people. I'm sorry to say that I've never talked to a sign person featured.
This is not the common expectation of the causes of homelessness...
"I was in a relationship where my partner was the primary bread winner, and I was a stay-at-home common law spouse. He was very abusive. After a while, the abuse got worse and worse until I finally left him. Domestic abuse is how I got here. Living outside, I found that a lot of women and teens are homeless in the Boston area because they were abused by men"
THAT'S the point of the project.
Controversy aside, I wonder if the new signs helped or hurt their conversion rates?
I feel like better copywriting may actually be more useful than fancy lettering.
A Twitter friend made the point to me: who's gonna give money to someone who can afford a fancy sign like that?
Ah, the fascinating field of homeless sign A/B testing…
This is weird. It's toooo easy to exploit the homeless just for a book piece. Try again.
similarly to how the homeless do not want donations of brand-name clothes, people will see the well-made signs and think "yeah, right. he's not homeless."
I wonder if homeless revenue went up or down when people saw they had nice signs.
Also one guy has a more legible sign than the "designed one" so that's a big failure.
I can't exactly tell what's going on here, so I don't want to dive headfirst into an argument about it, but if the designers aren't also donating a hefty sum of money to the homeless people they are "helping", then they are assholes and are shaming our whole profession.