Significant Text

For the past year, these images have been hanging above my drafting table:


By Nathan Coley

Linda Evangelista photographed by Pierpaolo Ferrari for W magazine, 2009.


The wall was covered with images and clippings, but these were my favorites. When I was working on projects I found myself looking to them most often for inspiration. I think they’re both really dark, but the text juxtaposes something really glamorous or hopeful with something really bleak. The cheap cleverness, and dark humor of that really gets me. And that the humor comes not out of one element, but out of all the elements in each image working together. I try to find that it my work all the time and it is incredibly hard.

Anyways, that is what I mean by Significant Text. When text in an image somehow completely subverts the context of that image. Instead of being illustrative, it changes the meaning of the image itself. Something I think about a lot.


This summer, text has been creeping up on me from all sides in the real world…

Again, the setting seems relatively benign (as do cranes, for that matter).


This is maybe my favorite. I think its actually directing people to a garage sale, but instead its just a sign on the edge of a cliff that says “keep going”.  So simple.




About meredithries

Meredith is a set designer living in Brooklyn, NY. See her work at: This is a repurposed old blog. Because continuity is important. Malaprop is a malapropism
This entry was posted in insta-theater, Meredith Ries, nature, paper props, props, set design, set dressing, theater, theater design, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Significant Text

  1. masha says:

    that top image was one of my favorite/applicable things in our studio all year. I hope it sticks around for year 2.

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