At Reset we believe in better living through better information. Great signs can do a lot to help make our cities faster, smarter and better, which is why we created our Muni “Step Down” signs.

That’s why New York graphic designer Jay Shells is a Reset inspiration. Shells got tired of the rude manners of his fellow New Yorkers and decided to take matters into his own hands. Under the name Metropolitan Etiquette Authority, he created official-looking DIY etiquette signs around Manhattan that would make Emily Post proud.

Shells hopes the signs will draw attention to urban etiquette issues like saggy pants, cigarette-butt-flicking and NYPD horse poop. But the signs aren’t just about manners – they are also geared toward safety, like signs reminding people to pay attention while walking.

You can watch CNN’s interview with Jay Shells and see more of his signs here:

These signs are not Shells’s first attempt at a DIY campaign to make his city better. He previously posted hand-painted “Clean Up After Your Dog!” posters around New York City as part of his campaign to rid the city streets of dog poop. The posters even included biodegradable poop bags for people to use. The Metropolitan Etiquette Authority also surveyed 100 people about their worst pet peeves while riding the subway and then created 40 different hilarious “Subway Etiquette” signs that looked like official MTA service change announcement posters based on the responses. The signs cover all sorts of ills committed by commuters (something we tackled with our Muni survival kit) such as noise pollution, hygiene, seating priority, use of stairs, physical contact and nail clipping, to name a few.


The manner signs have been placed randomly, with some attention to putting a sign geared toward proper disposal of cigarette butts in front of restaurants and hotels, where the problem seems most pervasive. Shells says the signs are, “All meant to improve life. Everybody seems to get a kick out it.”

If you could put signs like this in your neighborhood, what would you have them say? Let us know.