This postcard collection of manipulated images studies the symbolism found in Gold Coast suburbs and road signs. While avoiding the iconography of bikini-clad women and neon lights, this collection explores the typographic and text-based elements of pre-2000s postcards by reinterpreting the city’s signage. The found texts in these directional and instructional signs offer short descriptions of a Gold Coast ethos.
The name ‘Gold Coast’ was coined as a tool to sell the southern dream to investors. Today, it’s Australia’s fastest growing city and one of Queensland’s greatest tourist attractions.
People move to the Gold Coast each year with the promise of greener pastures, maybe even anonymity. The city presents opportunities for personal reinvention. Suburb and road signs are selling these messages subliminally through virtuous and relatable naming and words like Attraction, Hope, Runaway.
Suburbs such as Mermaid Beach, Miami and Palm Beach demonstrate the semiotic relationship between denotation and connotation. They are metonyms of somewhere else; their welcome signs prompting paradisiacal thoughts and recognition of Floridian counterparts.
As markers of something to come, or something gone, road signs evoke a sense of travel, transition and ephemerality, which are all key motifs of the Gold Coast in both tourist and resident cultures.
Highway Gothic, the type used on all Australian road signage, is obviously very different to the eye-catching text overlay of postcards from yesteryear. But as the city continues to reinvent itself, growing upwards and outwards, signs will become a more commonly relied upon tool of our daily lives. Highway Gothic is the font of the future, once the more comical of sans is removed from our view.