To the editor:
As a prolific flyer and poster pusher for several Bainbridge Island cultural organizations, I’d like to offer some tips on polite postering. The competition is fierce for space on the few public bulletin boards around town and in a limited number of generous storefronts. But if we follow some basic etiquette rules, and use common courtesy, there should be room for all.
Don’t cover up someone else’s poster with yours. It may take a few minutes, but if you rearrange things a bit and remove expired posters, you can usually find room. And that doesn’t mean moving an existing poster to the hinterlands and taking its spot.
Respect the wishes of the owners. If a bulletin board says “letter-size posters only” or to post within certain boundaries, honor that. That venue will disappear if we don’t follow the rules. And, with the exception of a few places where self-posting is clearly allowed, always ask permission. Most store-owners prefer to arrange their own walls and windows, both for neatness and fairness, and may have some posters that were dropped off earlier waiting in the wings. So no line-cutting!
Bring your own push pins and scotch tape. Don’t “borrow” someone else’s, leaving their poster dangling by one corner. And use easily removable tape. No staples, please — they’re really hard to dislodge.
No “double parking.” Position your poster so that others can fit around it easily. For example, resist the temptation to plop your poster right in the middle of, say, the newly-cleaned Blackbird Bakery window. Start at one end or up close to an existing poster to leave room for as many as possible.
Invest in different sizes of your posters. Rather than taking up half of a posting area with your giant-sized version, settle for something smaller. Share the space.
This one will probably not be very popular, but resist putting up posters until about three weeks before your event. Let more imminent events have a chance.
If, in the course of posting your materials, you notice someone else’s hanging precariously or ripped, take a few moments to repair the damage. The poster area will draw more viewers if it is neat and well-maintained.
This isn’t an etiquette tip — it’s the law! Materials on utility poles are illegal. (See Bainbridge Municipal Code 15.08.080.D.1.)
Finally — and most importantly — thank those community-minded business owners who are willing to share their valuable display space with local nonprofits. And patronize their stores.
It’s my impression that businesses opening downtown these days are less inclined than in the past to carve out a place for posters, which can undeniably add clutter and be time-consuming to maintain. We can help allay those fears by following the foregoing guidelines.
To me, a wall or window of colorful, well-organized posters and flyers says to residents and visitors alike, “There is a LOT happening on Bainbridge Island — it’s a fun and interesting place to visit, shop and live.”