Homeless signs -- does better graphic design help the copy?

10 replies
If you were homeless, would you get better results with a well-designed sign?

Can Good Graphic Design Help The Homeless? | Co.Design: business + innovation + design
#design #graphic #homeless #improve #results #signs
  • Profile picture of the author AnabelleFlorida
    Originally Posted by joe golfer View Post

    If you were homeless, would you get better results with a well-designed sign?

    Can Good Graphic Design Help The Homeless? | Co.Design: business + innovation + design
    Hi Joe!

    I actually feel it doesn't help. It seems less authentic, more gimmicky. I would wonder about a homeless person holding a sign like that.

    On the other hand ... COPY makes a huge difference!
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  • Profile picture of the author pewpewpewmonkeys
    If you were homeless, would you get better results with a well-designed sign?
    Yes, but not with THOSE signs. A lot of cardboard signs are almost impossible to read, so of course having better designed signs would help.

    On the other hand ... COPY makes a huge difference!
    This. I just made $480 the other day panhandling for a charity. My sign was golden. People will throw you a dollar just for entertainment value.
    Some cause-oriented hackers recently hacked one of my websites. So I researched what they're about and then donated a large sum of money to the entity they hate the most.

    The next time they hack one of my websites I'm going to donate DOUBLE.
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  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    Two quick stories.

    Here in Hollywood, there was a homeless person. Looked like one. Dressed like one.

    One day, one of his benefactors gave him an Armani suit to wear. He was so proud.

    But after a few days wearing it, he discovered no one would give him money.

    He went back to looking like a homeless person.


    In real estate, local investors use an approach called the yellow letter campaign.

    Basically, it's very specific copy written on legal paper, signed and stuffed in a mailbox. Extremely amateurish and ugly. (Look it up.)

    Investors have tried to improve conversions, but nothing beats it.

    - Rick Duris

    PS: One more.

    I was hanging out at 2AM at an IHOP with some friends. Looking out the window, I see a homeless man, carrying a baby, approaching strangers at a Bank of America ATM.

    The man was doing really well. It was dark, but I could see money's changing hands every other time, at least.

    Clearly this man has got his game on. Great prop (the baby), great story (whatever it is) and perfect location (BoA).

    Now here's the million-dollar question for you marketing geniuses:

    Does the homeless person approach before or after the marks get their money out of the ATM?

    (Think hard. The answer will surprise you.)
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  • Profile picture of the author Micah Medina
    A person holding money they got out of the ATM is going to be defensive. Plus it sends the message that you were watching them through the transaction. By then they're on their heels and going to say no without thinking.

    PS - Does saying "the answer will surprise you" ruin the surprise?

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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    I think that if the sign looks better than the homeless person then
    s/he will come up for suspicion. It's best is the sign also look
    homeless. Sometimes bad is good.

    -Ray Edwards
    The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Autoresponder Writing Email SECRETS
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  • It would seem suspicious to me. If they can afford to get a nice sign made up, they don't need me to give them money.

    Interesting article though.


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  • Profile picture of the author ReferralCandy
    Interesting experiment, interesting discussion. Curious to know if they actually made more money. Hope they did. Even if they didn't make more money from the new signs, I hope this article helped to highlight their plight better and inspire more conversation, and hopefully, systemic action.

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  • Profile picture of the author natebunger
    It also looks suspicious to me. If the sign is well-designed, then clearly there is some talent so there is no need to ask for money anymore. On another concern, there are actually homeless people who make a lot through asking money.

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  • Profile picture of the author James Fame
    I personally think it's all about consistency perception... When someone is perceived as incongruent to his image, there's a huge credibility distortion and people start feeling like there's something off, or they "can't put their finger on it".

    It's a really strange phenomena, because there are universals and yet utter differences in different markets too. (Like some designs convert, while others don't.) I can only attribute it to the differences in perception by prospects.

    James Fame

    Fire me a pm if you have a question. I build businesses and provide consulting. I do not do finance/money/internet marketing niches. Fitness, self-improvement and various others are welcome.

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