Can Better Designed Signs Help Panhandlers?

Last summer, Ian Todd moved to Chicago to study design at the Chicago Portfolio School. It was his first time living in a major city, and he was struck by the abundance of people asking for help on hand-scrawled cardboard signs and how few passers-by interacted with them.

One day, while walking home from a class in which he was studying hand-lettering, Todd wondered if a better-designed sign might help get the panhandlers’ messages across more effectively or at least act as...

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