Thursday, June 20, 2024

The Watermark Cambridge building at 350 Third St., Kendall Square, sounds really nice — “a modern full-service high rise apartment [with] panoramic views, oversized closets and designer kitchens … 24-hour concierge service, dry cleaning, a fitness club and zen garden.” But the sign put out front by Gables Residential to attract tenants is a typographical mess that wants to say “More living, one address” but really looks like it says “One more address.” The word “living” becomes just some random word that pops into the consciousness of passers-by after they’ve absorbed the message that of all the addresses in the world, this is one of them.

See, anonymous Gables sign designer person, most of us have been trained to read left to right, but we also see big words before small words (especially from a distance, like when we’re walking down the street) and take in clumps of information at a time; we don’t actually read each word individually. So first we see the giant “one” followed by “more” and then our eyes travel to the right, but we’ve actually already taken in the “address” in the split-second we spent being attracted to the word giant “one.” And you’re not helping by putting everything in capital letters.

At the very best, this sign might tell some people “One living more address.” And what does that mean?

It means you got a little too fancy. Surely no one would make that complaint of the Watermark apartments.

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