I love our regular Sunday morning visit to one or more of the local farmers’ markets. Not just for the wonderful fresh fruit and vegetables, direct from the grower, but for the friendly chat with stall holders, the passing parade of locals in their weekend casual (i.e. daggy) clothes. And for the way the farmers help us to part with our money for the fruit, literally, of their labors.

I get special enjoyment – and education – from the signs.

Crystal Creek banana stall

What fascinates me is how basic, even crude some of the signs are. Not what a professional sign maker would provide, surely. But coming from a long line of farmers I know better than to accept the simplicity of what you see as indicating any lack of smarts.

Like the one above, which I photographed this morning at the regular stall of the man from nearby Crystal Creek, who from speaking with him I know is very smart and has a good sense of humor (he let slip one day he had been captain of his quite prestigious high school).

Observing what good business this guy does, week after week, I’m sure he could afford a beautiful, professionally made sign.

But then mightn’t we subconsciously or consciously wonder whether his bananas were really direct from the local farm, or trucked in from elsewhere? And whether we might get a better price at one of the stalls with signs less swish?

The sign from our man from Crystal Creek speaks to localness, freshness. In advertisingspeak, it is authentic.

I’ve got nothing against fancy signage, beautifully designed stationery and state-of-the-art websites.

But sometimes simple, “hand-drawn” can be very smart business.

Do you have an example of a sign or other visual representation which is “hand-made” but effective? Please leave a link.

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