Introduction: Look Like Your Enemy: Create Signs That Confuse, Astound and Parody!

Picture of Look Like Your Enemy: Create Signs That Confuse, Astound and Parody!

In this instructable you will learn Design Camouflage. In past projects I have appropriated and refined various techniques to mimic government or corporate signage. Using the methods outlined in the following steps will allow you to temporarily borrow the legitimacy of a company or organization, while delivering a different message.

Like in my previous instructables, I'll be using past work as an example - a work from 2005, The Emma Goldman Institute for Anarchist Studies. In this case, the campus was in the midst of an expansion and state construction projects require signs describing the construction project and budget. The Emma Goldman Institute sign created dialogue about the priorities the school places on research and funding and had the local papers explaining the basics of anarchism for their readers at the same time.

I have also used this method on other projects like changing street signs, creating bogus products like this Soap Box, and even the signs in Ronald's Crisis.

For more inspiration see:
The Billboard Liberation Front's handy manual
California Department of Corrections

Step 1: Supplies

You'll need the following.

- tape measure
- digital camera
- printer
- appropriate substrate to print on such as:
- paper
- adhesive vinyl
- tyvek

- image editing software like GIMP or some proprietary alternative
- vector editing software like inkscape or proprietary alternative
- a healthy sized font library is helpful, but not necessary.

- provides links to open source alternatives to proprietary software

Step 2: Choose a Target

Picture of Choose a Target

Find a sign you'd like to change. Make sure it's reasonably accessible and your change will not cause any inadvertent damage or confusion. Then snap some digital photos and measure the outside dimensions.

When taking photos remember:
- try to get as close to a "head on" shot as possible.
- color balance your camera so your colors are as accurate as possible
- minimize any distortion by zooming in a bit. This will help avoid curved lines on the edges of your shot that may happen with a wide angle lens.

Step 3: Straighten Your Photo

Picture of Straighten Your Photo

Bring your photo into your favorite image editor (GIMP, Photoshop, etc). Most have some capability to straighten photos, but more than that you want to distort the edges until your sign is as straight as possible.

I am assuming some working knowledge of image editing. I wont go into as great detail here because this is the kind of thing you can find in books or elsewhere online, so here's an overview.

First drag some guide lines over your image. My guides are in the image below - cyan lines that form a rectangle around the billboard.

In photoshop you'll want to select all, then choose "free transform" from the edit menu. Hold down command and mouse over the corner. You should be able to grab each corner and drag it until the edges of your sign run parallel to your guides. If you're lucky, you can get it perfect, but it's just important that you get close.

Images below show before, during, and after.

Remember to adjust your levels and make sure the photo is as close to accurate exposure-wise a possible.

Step 4: Match Fonts

Picture of Match Fonts

Next you want to learn what fonts you need to mimic the style of the sign. We do this using an online tool called What The Font.

First, crop your image so that you have just the text (see example image below). Save that and upload it to What The Font. Make sure your image fits within the minimum and maximum size for What The Font. Detailed instructions are on their site.

The site gives you the opportunity to identify letters it's having trouble with so it can present the best guess as to what the font is. Make corrections or change cases as needed.

On the results page, What The Font usually gives more than one match and lets you decide which is the best. Make note of all your fonts...

Hopefully they're fonts you have on hand. Personally, I collect fonts for projects like this and keep a pretty large library of them around. However, once you know the names of the fonts you need, you can forgo building a collection and just buy them piecemeal. Most projects wont have more than 3 fonts. Hopefully they're cheap!

Step 5: Set Up Your File in Your Vector Editor

Picture of Set Up Your File in Your Vector Editor

I am assuming you have beginning to intermediate experience with vector editing software. If you don't some tutorials should have you up to speed quickly.

- Open your vector editing program.

- Take the measurements you made in Step 2 and create a file with dimensions that match that size. If your sign was 30 inches tall by 50 inches wide, set up your file to the same dimensions. Create guides along those lines if they can be helpful for you.

- Take your straightened digital image and place it on a layer. We'll call that the base image. Align the base image so the outside edges of the sign in the picture match up with the correct dimensions and/or guides. Lock that layer.

- Start recreating the sign on the layers above the base image. Work up until you have eliminated the base image entirely and you have a new sign.
- use your digital image as a guide to placement.
- use the eyedropper tool to match colors
- since you know the fonts, use the base image to gauge the correct sizes.

Note: You can be off a couple inches and it wont make to big a difference. Using this method should get a close enough match to the look and feel of the sign to be passable.

Also, if you need any corporate logos for your design, most can be found here:
And it's probably smart to brush up on your understanding of Fair Use Doctrine and Copyright so you can explain why you can do this if anyone asks ignorant questions.

Step 6: Print & Install

Picture of Print & Install

When you're done you should have a file that matches the old sign very closely. See the before and after pictures below.

Depending on what resources you have available, you have a few options to output your design.

Inkjet or Laser Printer
If you're lucky enough to have access to a 36 or 42 inch wide inkjet printer, you can pull off some amazing large scale results. But smaller printers can work as well, especially if your sign isn't too big.

Adhesive Printable Vinyl
Adhesive Printable Vinyl is like a giant printable sticker. It's available from sign supply stores and very useful. Throw a clear adhesive laminate layer over the top for a little shine and your work will look completely legit. I used this combination of materials for the graphics on Simmer Down Sprinter and on Packard Jennings and my Bus Stop Bench Project. I sorta fell in love with this stuff that year.

Vector Cut Vinyl
Sign shops can cut colored vinyl, often for reasonable prices. One color can be overlaid on another for a 2 color design. This is how we made the signs for the Puppet Street Project.

8 1/2 X 11 Sticker Paper
Available at most office supply stores. Affordable. Also, if you can tile your printing job onto multiple pages, this could work for semi-larger scale pieces.

Overhead Projector
Print your sign onto a transparency and you can project it to scale and paint your sign by hand. Low-tech, and it works!


cdstudioNH (author)2014-09-04

OMG! This is so funny! Sacco and Vanzetti = Women's Studies = :D

BTW, points for being so learned on some awesome anarchists. : )

ilpug (author)2010-12-26

awesome. i like it, although i wouldnt use so much technical stufff

HisDivineShadow (author)2010-08-28

But wouldn't such an institution be illegal? I would think that if people wish to be anarchist thety should get together BUILD an island that floats, send it out into the ocean and be anarchist there....

just got the joke lol!

DoItOrDie (author)2010-05-09

Ah yes, everyone is equal, just some are more equal than others.  Is that it?  Your right to so-called civil disobidence is "more equal" than other's right to reach their destination in a timely manner.  Typical inflated ego.  Just because no one was killed or injured in no way excuses your actions.  You have no idea how many people were misrouted and may have even lost money or business because of your vandalism.  What plans were ruined or delayed because of you and your silly, worthless political statement.  I have no problem with the sign presented here, but the street signs were way over the line.  Remember, just because something may be legal does not make it moral or right.  Just because yiou have the right to stand on your soapbox and drone on about your pet peve, does not mean you have the right to force others to have to listen.  That's exactely what those street signs did.  Forced others into participating in your childish game.

micobanff (author)DoItOrDie2010-05-09

It may be a silly and worthless political statement to you, but it's his right to exercise it!

DoItOrDie (author)micobanff2010-05-10

Of course it is.  I said as much in my comment.  What is NOT his right, however, is to use public street signs as his personal playthings when exercising that right.  One person's rights end where another's begin.  Others had a right to use those signs for their intended purpose of finding their way.  His stunt infringed on their rights not to be encumbered by his capricious modifications.  Not that he cares.  Only his rights are important, after all.  And THAT is my point.

A good name (author)DoItOrDie2010-06-16

And you have no rights. Rights are an idea created by people who question as to whether they have rights at all. You have only the "rights" that the current regime says you have. But let's go by the constitution; Where on the constitution, sir, does it say that you have a right to read road signs?

slambert (author)DoItOrDie2010-05-10

No, I care. You are right. You win.

manskybook (author)DoItOrDie2010-05-09

 That's a curious and wrongheaded overreaction. If you'd like to focus on stopping something truly damaging, please try to reverse something like the folks who send me letters with their company name (something like Government Processing Center) offering to get me the abstract for my deed, or to update my assessment for my house, or any of a number of things that I could do for free or for much cheaper than the fee they offer, with warnings that it must be done NOW. That's harmful. You are beset with your own inflated ego if you think a clever joke is "vandalism", even if for a street sign. It would be VERY hard to make a case that ANYONE was caused significant harm, or even lost money. Please. Go to your conservative cave and sulk, but we will not have your ilk thrashing about with claims of upside-down logic here.

caarntedd (author)manskybook2010-05-16

I drive a fire engine for a living. I would hate to get lost driving to an emergency because a street sign was changed. If your lucky, it won't be you or someone you know that needs help.
I've been known to pull tricks like this myself, but you need to pick your target carefully.

slambert (author)caarntedd2010-05-16

did you watch the video? that's why we included the street name in the change. Also, most fireman in San Francisco can identify a major street like Bush without a sign. But point taken - be smart people.

caarntedd (author)slambert2010-05-16


DoItOrDie (author)manskybook2010-05-10

Typical liberal maneuver.  Inject a total non-sequitur while ignoring the point.  Whether anyone was caused significant harm or not is not the main issue.  Infringing on the rights of others is.

And just who is in charge of measuring what constitutes "significant harm," anyway?  You?

slambert (author)DoItOrDie2010-05-10

maybe you two can get each other's email addresses and work this out between yourselves?

DoItOrDie (author)slambert2010-05-10

No need, I'm done.

krawczuk (author)DoItOrDie2010-05-12

get a life you wanker.. i reckon thats a excellent idea, and very funny..

like to see what civil disobediance you do , you toss pot

rattyrain (author)DoItOrDie2010-05-12

And I'm sure you could say the same thing about any quasi-distracting billboard.  You probably have ADD.

Yeah, you should get that checked.

slambert (author)DoItOrDie2010-05-09

ok, you shouldn't do that then.

Palomar Jack (author)2010-05-11

From your intro:

"Look Like Your Enemy: Create signs that confuse, astound and parody!" Fine, do it on your own property, not someone else's unless authorized. But you never said this from the start, you had to be prodded. Why?

" mimic government or corporate signage...", "... temporarily borrow the legitimacy of a company or organization...", Why, because you know your message is not legitimate? What legitimate company or organization will authorize this?

"...used this method on other projects like changing street signs ...", From step #1 "...will not cause any inadvertent damage or confusion...", These two statements contradict each other. Just what do you think changing street signage would do? In the least, it would cause people to drive excessive distances using more fuel and polluting the environment. Not only that, people who remove these nuisances will throw them out, further adding to pollution. Now what, smart guy?

This from Instructables Terms of Use:

We have a "be nice" comment policy. Please be positive and constructive with your comments or risk being banned from our site.

I guess this doesn't include changing large signage like street signs and billboards and causing a distraction to drivers resulting in a collision and possible deaths. This is not covered in the 1st, because this is not "...peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances".

Seeing as how you don't have a problem hijacking other peoples messages, you should not mind if I do the same, palomarjack(dot)wordpress(dot)com . Stop by any time.

Palomar Jack

sheepguy42 (author)Palomar Jack2010-05-12

 As your quote from Instructable Terms of Use indicates, that's the "comment policy." So no, it does not cover changing street signs, as they exist in the real world and not the digital realm of Instructables' comments.

slambert (author)Palomar Jack2010-05-11

Jack, read up some more. Permission was given in some cases. No car crashes or deaths were caused. This is not life or death - in more ways than one.

tmsmalley (author)2010-05-11

Didn't mean to offend, but after almost 30 years of dealing with the general public in my job, I've learned that of the tens of thousands of law abiding smart people you talk to, there are a few hundred doofuses that don't get it. I always put a disclaimer/reminder to them on my stuff that there are consequences for improper, unlawful use. Just a thought.

Thanks for the instructable. It was very entertaining and well documented!

slambert (author)tmsmalley2010-05-11

I dunno... information available online can lead to willful, unaware people doing dumb things, disclaimer or not right? I figure talking about it in smart way does a better service than a disclaimer. And that way I'm not talking down to all you smart folks in the meantime.

donhaynes (author)2010-05-11

Slambert, never mind what these people with extra-tight undies have to say, this is an awesome instructable and very funny stuff.  This isn't going to effect anyone's drive time to get to work and certainly isn't going to cost the millionaires that put the signs up any money.  And if you're commenting on this just to proudly announce your conformism and happiness at not having freedom of speech, just go check out an instructable on sitting in a cubicle.  I've never seen such a bunch of whiners in my life.

quartarian (author)2010-05-11

I saw all the negative comments so I thought I'd be nice for someone to say well done. So, well done.

And remember, Chomsky, you, and I are all in good company.

slambert (author)quartarian2010-05-11

thank you

tmsmalley (author)2010-05-11

You forgot to add "be prepared to be arrested, charged and kicked out of school for vandalism."

slambert (author)tmsmalley2010-05-11

no, that was intentionally left out. Making your own sign isn't necessarily vandalism or a crime. You can do it wrong and get arrested, sure. But, for example, I have never been arrested. The Emma Goldman sign in particular was installed with permission from the University. It took forever, but they gave me permission.

I'm respecting my readers by working with the assumption they have a level of intelligence and common sense. Because I think that's a nice, respectable place to start from.

quakefiend (author)2010-05-10

Simpler, yes, but unsustainable.  A constitutional republic has been proven to be the longest lasting, stable form of government (and giving the people, across the income spectrum, the most freedom).

slambert (author)quakefiend2010-05-10

Ok, you are right. I will change.

quakefiend (author)slambert2010-05-10

Not trying to get you to change, just throwing my 2 cents out there!

slambert (author)quakefiend2010-05-10

Here's my 2 cents:
one cent: I still disagree with your politics.
another cent: hashing out political philosophies in the comments on an instructables post = waste of energy.

dman762000 (author)2010-05-09

 I have to ask this as I work for the crap company mentioned. Why did you choose to take a "donation" from Securitas Inc. They're so cheap they don't even donate to charities much less to educational funds. Is that supposed to be part of the joke? Pretty funny stuff though, good job on the instructable too.

slambert (author)dman7620002010-05-10

Ah funny, you are the first person to ever ask about that.  Securitas bought out the Pinkerton company. I guess you could argue that the Pinkertons were the Blackwater of their day. They were hired for union busting and killed striking workers in union battles, some claim they were responsible for the bomb related to the Haymarket Riots. Anyway, I thought this would be a nice way for them to begin to absolve themselves of past crimes.

Mexicoman (author)2007-10-18

Good instructable for beginners as well as those familiar with the applications and printing. I was once a signpainter and the techniques are valid and useful.

What I wonder about however is the usefulness or need for the deception. Perhaps I can see it in some political way, but otherwise what's it accomplish? Fun perhaps, but modifying street signs can put you in jail for a long time. I recall a case where a young man altered a street sign in a similar manner and a motorist and three pedestrians were killed when all paused to look at the altered sign. The motorist, who was distracted, ran over the pedestrians who were also distracted and didn't see the oncoming car. The young man was convicted of manslaughter and handed a twenty year sentence. Now how much fun is it?

Please do be careful with your fun and try to place yourself in the position of the other person--say, the owner of the sign who just paid a sign painter $2,000 for something expected to last six months. When you take up three of those months, you owe a thousand dollars to someone. It can be called vandalism.

Please, tell me how this is so much different than graffiti?

slambert (author)Mexicoman2007-10-18


> Perhaps I can see it in some political way, but otherwise what's it accomplish? Fun perhaps,...

Political and fun isn't enough?

Do you have any info/links on this altered sign resulting in death? Although there's research that goes both ways, quite a bit that says there is no correlation between road safety and billboards. See:
The U.S. Department of Transportation, State Department of Transportation and property/casualty insurance companies statistics on fatal accidents indicate no correlation between billboards and traffic accidents. A broad sampling of law enforcement agencies across the country found no evidence to suggest that motorvehicle accidents were caused by billboards. Property and casualty insurance companies have conducted detailed studies of traffic accident records and conclude no correlation between billboards and traffic accidents.

Anyway, for the most part, I agree, changing road signs could potentially lead someone who was, say... trying to get to the hospital, in the wrong direction. Which would be awful! Which is why I mentioned in the beginning of step 2 "make sure your change wont cause any inadvertent damage or confusion."

The difference between graffiti I'm not going into - it's too big of an area. And from the context of your question, you seem to be coming from the perspective that graffiti is 100% wrong, which I don't agree with. I suggest you read through some of those links if you're looking for insight.

Mexicoman (author)slambert2007-10-18

This accident happened in the 1960's in my neighborhood in San Jose when I was a child. I have not looked on the Internet but it would be in public records if you care to dig.

You are citing billboards as having no correlation in traffic accidents. Look up the buzz over an advertising sign that displayed a very beautiful and nearly nude young lady in... (Texas? 1999?). I do not recall exactly when this was and I have not looked it up myself. I saw it in the newspaper. Caused a six car pile up when a trucker, while looking with some interest, wandered across the centerline striking a bus which careened into stopped cars. That stat you cite refers to legal advertising, which is governed by laws. Yours, as done, is outlawed. There is a significant difference and no relevant statistics to defend it.

You are defensive of your destruction of property--as you should be when you do something socially questionable or outright illegal. You cite examples and then attempt to additionally justify graffiti. Interesting... You seem to want to make light of political signs--as if they are fair game. OK, maybe that seems fair, but perhaps its also somewhat shortsighted... You see, it's illegal. That protects your legal signs too. If you actually have any legal signs...

The term "graffiti" was originally used by archaeologists to describe drawings and writings found on ancient buildings and monuments in Pompeii, Egypt and in the Roman catacombs. Today, graffiti is a sign of urban decay. It has become an extensive problem. Graffiti generates fear of neighborhood crime and instability. It is costly, destructive, lowers property values and sends a poor community message. It is also illegal, as is any destruction or defacing of the property of others.

The graffiti art you are possibly considering as part of the big area is sanctioned and approved and usually done by recognized local artists. We have this in Mexico also. It is often very beautiful.

That rather succinctly defines the big area of graffiti, wouldn't you agree?

I mentioned politics as it almost seems fair game to use the political sign of an opponent to display your own particular view how the world should be run--especially if you are in direct opposition. Perhaps you missed this point though--those signs belong to someone and the minimum charge for altering them would be vandalism. Some signs are very expensive and you could be charged with a much higher crime for defacing them. There is already precedent for this and folks have been jailed for defacing even mud ugly political signs. If you want to post a political statement (or any statement) what's wrong with getting your own sign? Then you could include the building, hole digging, erecting, concreting, securing, designing, evential removal, and even the legal process for acquiring a permit in your instructable. Sign vandalism may seem harmless to you, perhaps because of your youth or lack of social maturity, but to deface some commercial sign regardless of what you feel about the message, is destroying someones personal property. Those signs might even be mine, advertising the construction of a low income health center for the people of my barrio. But lets ruin them anyway--OK? Great fun, huh, defacing the work of others? Or is there some overpowering and magnificent civil purpose to this that I am missing?

I too make political signs, and I enjoy painting directly on the property of others too--just like you. It's great fun! Whoopee!!!

When I'm done, the work is beautiful, loud and arrogant--just like yours--and it makes a powerful statement. In fact, I'm ready to do a sign right now and I'm out looking for a canvas.

Mind telling me where you parked your car?

slambert (author)Mexicoman2007-10-19

I can tell by your tone that this isn't heading in a good direction, but I do want to be clear about a couple things...

> You are defensive of your destruction of property--as you should be when you do something socially questionable or outright illegal.

In all the examples I gave none involved any destruction of property (at best the street signs were temporarily covered, but there was no damage) but most involved me making new objects that mimic their official counter parts. None were, what I would call, "outright illegal". Socially questionable is subjective, so I'll give you that one.

For me this work raises larger questions about who has the right to communicate in public space. Those with money? Or the public? What is legal usually falls on the side of who has money. Sure, anyone can make a sign, as long as you can pay the thousands of dollars in rent and production costs. And even then, the company that owns the space might not like what you have to say in "public space".

I could write a lot more, but who wants to read about a complex world view the encompasses morals, the law, social control mechanisms, power, and what public space is for in a comment thread. And I have written more in other places already. Please read through those links, and here's another project you might want to look at : Light Criticism as well as the Anti-Advertising Agency site in general.

All the best,


Adlab (author)slambert2010-05-10

Hey Steve,

I think you would find these guys very interesting:
Stokes Croft is an area of Bristol in the UK and The People's Republic of Stokes Croft have a mission to put the right for communication and visual media in the hands of the public rather than corporations. It's a fantastic place to live with continually changing high-quality graffitti/murals that are commisioned (for free) by the owners of the buildings on which they are painted.

By the way this is just a comment and I'm not prepared to get into a big debate with anyone about the larger implications of this so (as seems to be the case with Steve's signs!) don't be surprised if I don't reply to further comments.


firetrucks (author)Mexicoman2007-10-18

you seem to be getting irritable and straying from the realms of cool, logical debate. I found the discussion rather interesting until you killed it with your hostility :\

Mexicoman (author)firetrucks2007-10-19

Firetrucks... Hostility? What hostility? You Americans read the wrong thing into comments and your hate is often too well known. I have no hostility. It is simply a legal matter that can get good people into trouble if followed. My comments address the thinking that surrounds that. I have lost things to vandals and I do not appreciate it, but I have no hostility. (South) Americans are knows for their pleasant attitudes and peace with their good neighbors. That you can even see hostility says something about the potential attitudes in la cultura norteamericana. Please, I am a very relaxed latino.

"(South) Americans are knows for their pleasant attitudes and peace with their good neighbors." I'm pretty sure Mexico is in North America, was last time I checked anyway.

firetrucks (author)Mexicoman2007-10-21

well, now you are also making bad generalizations about americans, which is also hostile, and has invited the rather silly attacks of usuck and others. but that sort of arguing is useless.

Anyway, I think vandalism in general can be bad or good. each individual act must be judged seperately. Some acts, like what you said for people's cars getting sprayed or changing street signs so someone gets hurt, are obviously bad. I know sometimes teenagers like to steal stop signs to decorate their bedrooms or basements, and that can easily lead to car accidents! So of course I agree with you that vandalism CAN be harmful. However, that does not mean that ALL acts are bad. Some graffitti, or "street art," can be very beautiful. Not all of it is gangs spraying ugly tags to mark their territorry. Sometimes it's just an artist using a space to make a statement or simply a visually pleasing image. Have you heard of Banksy?

In some cases, vandalism(a bad word) and art(a good word) can be the same thing. It's only vandalism because it's illegal, and then it makes you wonder if the law is right! What if a space is better looking because of illegal art?

Mexicoman (author)firetrucks2007-10-22

What might those bad generalizations be please? I am speaking in return to those who write to me, and additionally, in the world view, Americans are not often seen as such peaceful, unobtrusive, undemanding, calm and quiet folk, are they? I didn't make that up, you know. You and every other American is aware of that. Just as we both know Russians drink Vodka. Please don't be too sensitive on such a recognized trait. Certainly its only a very few bad individuals who make all those truly wonderful Americans look badly. We Mexicans actually know all about such things.

Vandalism can only be bad. Remember, vandalism is broadly defined as defacing/damaging private property. By definition, it cannot be tolerated. It is absolutely illegal. May I paint my gang slogans on your car? I have a practiced hand and will use only the best red Krylon Rustoleum. My special gang slogans are guaranteed to draw serious attention too! You'll want them! Call now!

Seriously, are you kidding? There is no way vandalism can be good. How many times do I have to ask you... where you park your car? I am an artist. Seriously, I am reasonably decent. Yet if I paint on your car without your written permission will you call it street art or would your first words more likely be Oh Shit ! Is a building owner different? OK, where's your house? Vandalism is vandalism. People in a neighborhood may persist to such a degree that the vandalism becomes art and apparently tolerated, but do you think someone initially wanted a wall full of weird gang slogans? If you do, where's your mom's house too? It's not good stuff! You simply cannot justify vandalism.

If the law is not to suit you, well then you just break it, right? Right! You bet. Good idea! The law I don't like is that silly one that says you can't steal cars when you just can't stop the urge. Where is your car again? (leave the key inside and the door unlocked please) Seriously, lawbreaking is lawbreaking. Your approach makes murder immediately forgivable if the job is highly artistic, perhaps even intelligently conceived--especially when its done against a newly painted brick wall downtown... and its real messy.

C'mon, be real. Vandalism is destructive and nasty. Street art didn't always start or become what it is by initial approval. Street art scenes are by usually by commission except perhaps where vandalism is uncontrolled through fear and sloth and gang hostility is a serious threat. Even the government gives in to neighborhood threats. I trust this is not the position you support.

Sorry, I don't mean anything badly, but it seems a simple point and I can't resist some tongue-in-cheek sarcasm. Please, vandalism by any name is still wrong. If it's OK, then anyone can do it at anytime. That means someone could key your new car if they wanted. But the law protects your car as well as the walls on all buildings. Street art is either sanctioned or its vandalism and I'll bet someone wasn't too happy with it initially. One more time, lets paint your house and your car. My gang might be big enough and intimidating enough to convince you to leave my painting alone. Then, given enough time maybe some local gang artists get tired of seeing the mess and put up something slightly more decent. They are in the gang and are not threatened. Does this make it right or desirable? The art wasn't initially desired any more than you want your car or your house ruined. To use American slang, it's just not cool to much up somebody's stuff.

Yes, what if a space is better looking because of illegal art?

I saw your car--it's ugggggly, man. It would be more beautiful if my two teenage helpers painted it. That will also make your neighbors think good of you, won't it? A car that looks like the lower eastside. You'll go over well in town.

Get it now? Applied personally its a different story? Graffiti is vandalism--always. If it isn't, your car gets it tonight, OK? No, I know that's not right and so do you. You don't want your car painted and neither do I.

Please, reconsider your stand. It can hurt people. Maybe you too.

Meragness (author)Mexicoman2007-10-27

Stop bringing up the car. Keying or spraypainting a car has nothing to do with spending lots of your own time on a funny sign to display temporarily. Also...very eloquent speech for somebody que no sabe decir <> en ingles.

Mexicoman (author)Meragness2007-11-04

I too have access to translators on line and a sister who is perfectly in English. When my English is not exact, she help. My apologies. I do not wish no to harm. If you do not read post earlier, people have been killed by sign altered. I just point that out--all others want to argue. I am not argue--you all seem muy defensive. Why? Is just realistic comment. Why does it bother you unless reality is problem? If it is, perhaps I stay in La Paz, and some argumentative people stay in America. Is better, no? Lo siento, I did not know abogado was lawyer in English. I am incorrect some words. I study English more now. I be honest, i speak with no many Americans here. I no often like speak to Americans because the argue for everything. Why so much angry? I do no entender. Sorry, no use the translator of English book tonight.

firetrucks (author)Mexicoman2007-10-22

You only talk about gang related grafitti or spraying people's cars. not all vandalism is the examples you mention. Nobody ever said street art was equal to murder! come on, that's ridiculous. I said that not all laws should be followed all the time. You blindly equate legality with morality. Have you never broken a law in your entire life? Driving, crossing without a crosswalk, downloading music, copying a movie, or any other law that is so commonly broken that I can't even think what it could be! Sex toys are illegal in many southern US states - myself and many other americans see this as unjust, and an offense to freedom. I don't know all the laws of mexico, but I am sure there are many similarities with US laws. Of course we need laws for social order. But hey, let's all be honest, nobody follows ALL laws ALL the time. I thought you were relaxed! Nobody here wants to spraypaint anyone's car. I am sorry that you have had a bad thing happen to your car by vandals in the past, but don't let that damage your ability to be reasonable. I think your personal problems with that history are making you emotional here. and about generalizations, just because a lot of people believe a negative generalization about someone doesnt mean it's okay to say. Be responsible for what you say. I'm sure you don't like it when people say mexicans are lazy pot-smokers. This is not what I am interested in, however, I much prefer the vandalism debate. Here I must repeat my key points: Not all vandalism is gang related. Nobody here wants to vandalize anyones car. Some vandalism can be beautifying. Just because it's illegal doesn't make it wrong.

Meragness (author)firetrucks2007-10-27

I liked that. and of course mexicoman has never broken a law, because "It is not the Mexican way to make victims" (sarcasm)

osh-kosh (author)Mexicoman2007-10-26

Mexicoman more time than sanity. Incur his scorn and it's a calamity. An argument no more, there's even some blasphemy. Mexicoman you've more time than sanity.

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Bio: Eyebeam OpenLab Research and Development Fellow 2006-2007, Eyebeam Senior Fellow 2007-20010 You probably have seen his work already and don't know it. Check the ...
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