The Construction Sign Museum

A page dedicated the art of construction signs.

Of course, this page is (and always will be) under construction, what did you expect?

Early Construction

"The Evolution of the Construction Sign"

Early construction sign makers were afraid of putting up their work? "Does it make the page look unprofessional?" they would ask. Consequently, early artists hid their work or make them small and obscure. Later, as construction signs gained popular acceptance as a means to slough off work, construction sign artists "came out", unafraid to make their signs larger and more pronounced.

The Invention of Language

"Under Construction"

The development of written language meant that artists could give more precise meanings of their construction. Here, one of the first signs of this new era of communication says what it means: under construction, yet retains the simple early construction symbol.

The Classical Age


Emphasis on the arts in the ancient Greek empire allowed artists to abandon thee old and state incompleteless in new ways. Here, a sign leaves behind the yello/black motif that persisted for centuries for blue and white.

The Dark Ages


Disease and famine devasated Europe and Asia, killing millions. As was the mood of the time, this sign expresses the lack of hope in people of that day. A dreary orange was used instead of the cheerful yellows of the Classical Age.

The Rennaissance

"Still Life"

A renewed interest in the arts made construction artists in this time very prosperous. This picture combines the elements of the past in a new and unique way, so characteristic of this age. You would have to be blind to miss it.

The Impressionists

"Autumn in Paris"


The Impressionists utilized imagery and colors to express meaning rather than sybols and words. "Autumn in Paris" and "Non" are fine examples of this theme. The first, "Autumn in Paris," uses bright contrasting colors and diagonal lines to suggest action without revealing too much.

The second, appropriately titled "Non," is a prized masterpiece. Without words, it says "Go away, this isn't ready yet." How an artist could express this so strongly with so little is amazing.

The Industrial Age

"The Plight of the Luddites"

Machines changed the way people contruct. Adapting to this change is "Industrial Accident," which uses the familiar yellow/black theme with a new element - a machine. Man has been replaced with machines, machines that can now construct entire areas at a time.

The Post-War Era

"The Building of New York City"

Germany had been defeated, twice. With renewed hope in the future, a conservative post war generation worked hard to build things that lasted. They were big, burly men, and they used big equipment, like whatever that is, and electric blenders.

The Cold War

"Lenin's Not Really Dead, He's Just Sleeping"

The rise of communism in the East was felt worldwide. Russian construction artists were forced to make their signs reflect the national colors of their government. If you look closely at this piece, you will notice that the shovel has ben replace by a sickle.

The 60s and 70s


The baby boomer generation revolted from the conservative, imperialist 50s and early 60s. They went left, way left. Notice that the worker in this piece is facing left, as opposed to right in the others. They spent their time not constructing, but repairing aftermath of the get-rich-quick decade.

The 80s: The 50s, part II

"I Love Junk Bonds"

The 1980s brought the yuppies who didn't have time to be making construction sisigns. After all, there was money to be made. Notice that the "under construction" has been replaced the the more direct "Warning."

The Multimedia Revolution

[ with Netscape you could enjoy this magnificent under construction animation ]

"Construction in Motion"

Improvements in technology allowed artist freedom to express their "notdoneness" in new ways. In this animation, a construction worker shovels dirt. The theme is a slight variation from the early construction sign which suggests a subtle reversion to the past. The yellow-on-black scheme heralds the rebirth of the construction sign in a new medium - motion.

Construction Sign References

All the graphics used in this page (and a few more less notable pieces are available if, after all this you still have the gall to put one on your page.

You can read an earlier rant by me on the subject. I guess that outlet didn't work, because I had to make this page too and I still complain about the damned things all the time.

Jeff Boulter (also under construction!)