Nicholas Huggins Design


Fete Signs of Trinidad


As a graphic designer who studied abroad, I always think about what kind of design or aesthetic is intrinsically Trinbagonian; what colours do we use, what sorts of typography is used, what sort of trends are seen in our design? Now that I am back living and working at home I can't help but look out for things that set us apart from the rest of the world when it comes to design, and whether this design is done deliberately or not.

The one part of our designed environment that really stands out to me, and I find strangely satisfying, is the art of Fete (party) Sign Painting. These signs are painted and then attached to posts/trees/poles as advertisements for public parties. They are almost always up to date, due mostly to the fact that room has to be made for the next Fete Sign to go up. Each one is hand painted, and it is a breath of fresh air in a place where quality in design aesthetic is often over looked for cheaper prices, leaving us with eye sores at every turn.

One of the things that is common of these Fete Signs is hand painted typography over a background painted with a gradient. In just a few lines and with minimum words, all of the information needs to be placed so that it can be read clearly by passing motorists and pedestrians. They are used as an invitation to the nation.

There is not much info to be found online however I did come across this photo set on Flikr that has some really great, up close photos of some of the fete signs. There is also an Instagram account devoted to capturing found Trinidadian typography. If you have any additional information regarding Fete Signs, don't hesitate to send me an email via the contact page.