This week, publish an image of a sign — from the signs you encounter on the street to more personal, less obvious signs that hold meaning for you.

Image by Cheri Lucas Rowlands

From the street signs we see on our commute to work each day to the vintage neon signs put to rest in an outdoor museum in Las Vegas, signs are functional, but can also be decorative. Signs can direct us where to go, but they’re also pieces of art, which reveal much about the time period and culture in which they were made.

For those of you who have a less literal approach to our photo challenges, a sign can also be a gesture or a cue. Something welcome. Or mysterious. Or even foreboding.

A sign in Kamakura, Japan

I took the photograph above on a solo trip to Japan in 2006 — I’d just visited the Great Buddha of Kamakura, wandered off to look for the train station, and walked down an alley to find this sign in front of a closed shop. This mundane photograph of a sign with the cartoon face of Woody Allen and the phrase “coffee & whisky” has become one of my favorite photographs from my travels. It’s simple and random, yet somehow encapsulates my time there: days of wandering and hanging out in coffee shops; nights full of meeting new friends in cocktail lounges, bars, and clubs.

For this challenge, share an image of a sign: it can be a sign near your home — a comforting sight after a long journey — a sign that doubles as art, or other types of signs that hold meaning for you.

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