Monday, November 27, 2017

Arrow Collecting

I got the idea to start "arrow collecting" from Pittsburgh Orbit, which is a fantastic website. Essentially, here's some arrows found in the places I've been. They're simple directional signs, each unique in their own graphic sense, all found while trying to ignore the "easy" ones on street signs and pavement.

I followed this post up with another round of "collecting" in May 2019.

- A manicule (a type directional symbol which predates the graphic arrow) as seen on a door for Kold Kutz barbershop in Corryville.

The typographical arrow is an abstraction of the projectile shot from a bow. Over time, arrows began to become more common than manicules, graphic depictions of hands pointing in a specific direction. In their early appearances, arrows marked the directional flow of rivers on maps and noted the movements of military troops on wartime documents.

A lot like fading advertisements (or ghost signs), once you start looking for them, you'll never stop noticing them. Several fading ads even feature arrows themselves.

These photographs were made (and arrows found) between September 19 and November 19, 2017.

- Parking sign behind Mecklenburg Gardens in Corryville. 

- Sticker for experimental hip-hop artist, Haskell, Uptown.

- Cigarette can, Downtown.

- Parking sign, Downtown.

- Parking sign, Downtown.

- Sign for the now closed Provident Camera Shop, Downtown. Also featured in Fading Ads of Cincinnati.

- Pack Pharmacy parking lot, O'bryonville

- Sign for Madison Diner, Madisonville.

- Ohio Caverns signs for sale at Elm and Iron Loft, OTR.

- Rt. 42 signs, Mason.

- Rt. 42, Mason.

- Rt. 42, Mason.

- "Retro" arrow in Mod Pizza, Oakley.

- Arrow on a fading advertisement, OTR.

- Ollie's Trolley arrow, OTR. The details of this sign were covered in another post.

- Insurance sign, Downtown. Unfortunately it doesn't light up at night.

- Not 100% sure this is arrow, but one seems to be faded in the center bottom. This Downtown ghost sign was covered here.

- Drive-Thru bus bench ad, Oakley. This drive-thru let's you come through on your bike and always has a decent selection.

- Storage, Madisonville.

- Madtree Brewery, Oakley.

- Olympic Parking, Downtown.

I followed this post up with another round of "collecting" in May 2019.


  1. Never even noticed that parking sign at Mecklenburg... I did finally go into Lou's Pony Keg last month

    1. Did the arrow guide you there?

      Also, there's more important things at Mecklenburg than that arrow. Like delicious beer. I only noticed the arrow because I was waiting for them to open one day haha.

    2. Sort of... Denny had to explain what a pony keg was first, but that's as good as an arrow.

    3. To be fair, I have no idea what a Pony Keg is. I always just assumed a convenience store?

  2. Great concept, great photos! You sure do get around. I lived in Cinci on and off for several years and rarely left downtown/OTR. Most of the outlying areas are a total mystery to me. Cary

    1. Hey Cary, thanks for checking out the post, glad you like the photos. Haha, I feel like I hardly get around at all. Ever since I moved to the city proper I feel like everyday is between my neighborhood and Downtown. If I lived in OTR or in the CBD, I'd probably not get out anywhere near as much.

  3. One of my favorites is the Gilmore Lanes sign at Gilmore and Route 4 in Fairfield.

    1. I forgot about that one. A friend and I grew up going there and usually get back there around the holidays to have a drink at the strange bar inside.