Thumbnail version:

  • Occasionally one sees controversial signs or billboards that reflect poor taste.
  • Does poor taste on a sign or billboard reflect badly on the printer?
  • Does a printer take a risk being associated with controversial jobs?

The full version:

Every now and then a billboard or sign makes news because of perceived poor taste. They’re often of a political or sexual nature, and often they stir up a lot of controversy. I realize that “poor taste” is a matter of interpretation but some that have made it onto the news really do, by any reasonable standard, cross the line.

However, this isn’t about the degree of “poor taste”, it’s about whether your shop will take a print job if you consider the image or text to be in poor taste. And even if you don’t consider it to be poor taste, what if you suspect that a significant portion of viewers will see it that way?

There are questions to be addressed. Is it good business practice to take a job regardless of content? Is there a downside for your business being associated with a controversial sign or billboard? Is it fair to expect your staff to work on any job no matter how much it might offend them? Have you considered what you might do if approached to print a “poor taste” job? Could you lose some customers over such a job?

On balance, does it make business sense to be associated with a controversial sign or billboard?

Perhaps this needs to be given some thought in advance and perhaps some criteria need to be established in anticipation of the possibility of being offered a controversial job.