Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Go With The Flow

Paris iPhone Photo Chronicles
~ Go With The Flow ~

Go With The Flow, originally uploaded by Paris Set Me Free.

BONUS: For Street Photography Fans!


They apparently think we're all half blind, but I'm not criticising efforts to make metro directions as clear as possible.

These big new panels are part of an overhaul of the signaling system (for humans) and are quite effective and dare I say it attractive.

Turning left leads to Vincennes, but what about right? OK, we're at Nation where line six terminates but you'd have thought they could still have told us that Charles de Gaulle Etoile was our final destination.

And then there's another anomaly. Why is the number and the 'M' slightly off-centre so it spills over the edge? I bet they paid some firm hundreds of thousands of euro to come up with that idea.

Maybe it's about completeness. Our brain likes things to be complete and is bugged when they're not. The circle's not complete so it attracts our attention and we are more likely to notice the sign. That's my theory.

But maybe it goes deeper. I read about a world-famous violinist who played one of the most complicated pieces ever written in the New York metro for 45 minutes during rush hour. About three people stopped to listen. He made thirty two bucks. Places at his sold out concert the night before cost $100. His violin was worth $3.5m.

Moral of the story? Our appreciation of beauty depends, to a great extent, on context. So back to my metro panels, perhaps we're looking at a piece of graphic design magic, and simply don't have the background or culture to appreciate those off-centre numbers, letters and circles. Another theory, which I'm quite happy to consider.

Further moral: I didn't have a story for this picture until I started typing... and thinking, and letting my thoughts go where they wanted. Which is a good argument for starting, just starting, and the rest will come. For whatever it's worth. $3.5m maybe!

And why not...
© 2012 
Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Contact me directly for photo tours, interviews, exhibitions, etc.

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