One of the problems with Hansa, as with today’s
Shop owners within a Hansa city had a problem with how to advertise their wares. If people spoke diverse languages and if most of them could not even read, how would the shopkeepers tell them what was for sale? The solution was to establish a series of icons, or clever wrought iron signs, that would have universal meaning. In
Or an optometrist shop might have a picture of spectacles.
Or the baker might have a kringel dangling from the building.
Sometimes other symbols, like flags, might be used as a part of the sign, such as a metal Danish flag advertising the Danish Cultural Association.
Modern adaptations have included a sign for a puppet theater:
and (this is great!) for lingerie,
or for a stip club.
Sometimes the modern signs are intentionally mysterious, such as the one advertising a shop run by artisans.
The most obnoxious Hansa sign, however, is right inside the