Signs designed to slow you down and think


by MEG COYLE / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @MegCoyleKING

Posted on July 7, 2011 at 5:58 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 7 at 6:08 PM

You could say Dan Martin's garage is a window into the soul of a city.

"Cities can kinda be intimidating and can eat people alive you know," said Martin.
So armed with old paint and remnants from his contracting jobs, Dan is crafting gentle reminders of the big city's softer side.
"Tacoma works really well for what I do because it has a lot of forgotten space," Martin says.
Homemade street signs that, on the surface don't say much, but speak volumes.
"Just that little moment that someone communicates something to them, that's what it's all about," Martin states.
Maybe you've seen them around the more rundown parts of town, signs designed to inspire and engage and maybe even go "beyond you."
"I try to, I guess decorate the ugly places," Martin said, "trying to set the spark, and see where it goes and see what people do with it."
And maybe tap into their city's potential through signs that speak and art that might just stick with you.
"Once you read it, the thought is in your head and it might manifest itself into something that's bigger than just the words so the point is to add a little life to what's otherwise dead space," a Tacoma resident said.
Dan is also the man behind colorful duct tape designs on empty buildings guerrilla art that may be temporary but as Dan hopes, is taking hold. 
"Duct tape is typically used to fix or repair things," Martin said, "So I'm repairing a boring wall.  Repairing a boring spot in the city and making it better."
And so far at least, the city doesn't seem to mind.  So, the next time you're "exploring" Tacoma don't be surprised if you leave here feeling the love this city wants to share.
Dan Martin--one man making a difference--by hopefully making you look.
Martin's unique art forms are catching on.  Through his Facebook page he's invited other to take part.  He's received pictures of duct tape installations from Pakistan to Prague.  To learn more about the street sign project click here
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