Hope Not Nope

I’m walking down a beautiful street in San Francisco’s Mission District. It’s the middle of July but it feels like a classic autumn day. The air is cool and a gentle breeze is wisping that earthy just-after-it-rained smell through the trees.

This city is one of the best for exploring on foot because every house has character. A Craftsman home with an eclectic purple and green coat of paint. A decoupaged miniature public library aside a stoop. Giant cacti standing proud behind patches of aloe and wild fennel. You never know what will be around the bend or at the top of the hill. It’s always a surprise.

Another thing that catches my eye is all the signs people choose to display in their windows. There are banners supporting political campaigns, notes of gratitude for essential workers, and posters placed in solidarity or protest. Graphic Design Cory can’t help but observe the wide gamut of typography and differing approaches to visual communication.

One house really catches my attention.

Lighted HOPE sign above window
Lighted HOPE sign above window

There’s a glowing sign above the front door. It’s a word set in some found letters, like the kind you’d see at a county fair or on a cute main street somewhere in Appalachia.

I can only make out the last two letters — P and E.

My mind starts churning. What word ends with P and E and is important enough that someone would choose to display it so prominently in front of their house?

It must be… NOPE!?

As I continue walking down the street, more of the sign comes into view. An “O” appears to further validate my assumption.

And then… an “H”!

It says HOPE. The sign says HOPE!

I had to stop in my tracks and do a double take.

After months of witnessing so much negativity on the internet, my mind somehow found a way to assume the worst of this beautiful sign and homeowner.

What happened to me happens on the internet all the time. We only see one part of a person or part of an issue and immediately assume the worst. We always see NOPE instead of HOPE.

The cool part is if you log off and go out into the real world you’re more likely to see the whole message.