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Children's crossing signs
from Cape Verde Islands

Sal, IV.2006 Santiago, IV.2006

We did find two main types of warning signs. Both feature the infamous button-head design. But it's not the same drawing as in Portugal.

It's remarkable that Portugal didn't succeed in exporting its own modern design, not even to countries which once were dependencies like The Azores, Madeira and now Cape Verde.

Our finds are much closer to the design which occurs in many countries around the Mediterranean Sea — the Mediterranean Group is explained in Malta.

The first type reads ATENÇÃO (Attention!) and carries the Mediterranean children captured in the European triangle. It's not worth another word.

The other model says Beware - Children's crossing - school but then in Portuguese. It was at the time of our visit the most frequently found warning sign for children on the road. Let's hope it stays that way because the artist succeeded in breeding something nice out of a second rate egg. He kept Mediterranean features like the boy's head rolling off the shoulders and the super mini skirt of the girl but added succesfully some features of his own.

• He introduced the use of colour in the drawing. Colour draws attention, he knows that.

• For maximum effect use colour sparingly. He knows that too and therefore uses colour only to highlight a feature or two on the children.

• First two red lines representing I'm not sure what. — Are we looking at the straps of their rucksacks? But why should they carry a ruck­sack and a book­bag? — Maybe the lines are braces supporting shorts and skirt? But braces are most often found with very young or rather elderly people and the children belong to neither class. — Or are the pupils wearing a reflector jacket? Who shall tell?

• Then two red boxes representing the chil­dren's bookbags. But why are they differently shaped? The girl's bag certainly shows a peculiar shape. Could that be an antique flat­iron she's carrying? Are they telling us that she's taking housewifery lessons? (Monsieur Jean, expert in this subject, quietly nods in agreement.)

Santiago, IV.2006


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More roadsigns from Cabo verde: Men at work - Falling rocks