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Codes and Happenings

A roundup from sign-industry news

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Like clockwork, signs make the news. For every city or township rewriting rules to allow more types of signs, another writes rules constricting them. But, sometimes, there’s simply good news about proposed or completed signage that celebrate the environment in which they’re installed. Here’s the latest batch of headlines:

The Library Journal, a trade publication that covers the business “between the stacks”, lauded a wayfinding project installed at the Vancouver (WA) Community Library. Letters are installed beneath the landing of each floor of the multi-story facility. Tacoma, WA-based Plumb Signs fabricated the signage, and Pacific Studio built a four-story “knowledge wall”, a steel grid laden with Seattle-specific imagery and verbiage. The project earned a Merit Award in the Society for Experiential Graphic Design (SEGD) 2014 Design Awards. I’ll cover the project in greater detail as part of the November issue’s SEGD Roundtable.

• Flemington, NJ is considering greenlighting blade signs for its downtown businesses, according to www.nj.com. Jeff Klein, the city’s zoning officer, said Flemington’s current ordinance permits a façade sign or a blade sign, but not both, but he noted local officials were exploring how to modify the sign code to allow both. Currently, the ordinance doesn’t allow signs to project beyond lot lines or beyond the end of the wall on which they’re placed.

• The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has bestowed a $75,000 Our Town Grant to the Birmingham Museum of Art and REV Birmingham, a civic-promotion organization, which the organizations plan to use to develop artistic wayfinding signage, according to the Birmingham Business Journal. Gail Andrews, the R. Hugh Daniel director of the Birmingham Museum of Art, told the Journal, “Using Birmingham-area artists to create signage pointing to Birmingham landmarks is a great to connect and highlight the city’s assets.” The organizations must match the NEA grant, and city-planning firms are expected to release a request for proposals this fall.

• The Elk Grove (CA) Planning Commission rejected a proposal to build a 76-ft.-tall sign along Highway 99 to promote area businesses, according to the Elk Grove Citizen. Instead, the Commission wanted to limit the sign to 55 ft., the same height of the sign at a nearby auto mall. Bruce Bishop, the owner of Monument Partners, which applied for the sign, said the sign could cost approximately $400,000 to build, and building to the same height as another sign would diminish its effectiveness. Sparky Harris, the lone commissioner to favor the proposal, said, ““I don’t want to read the sign. I want to recognize the logo from far away, so I [can] get off the freeway.” Bishop said he welcomed the rejection, because he now appeal the matter to the City Council.

• With Baylor Univ.’s new McLane Stadium set to open this fall for its football team, signs pointing to its former home, Floyd Casey Stadium, have been taken down, and the city of Waco, TX has received calls with offers to buy the old signs, according to the Waco Tribune. City officials have said those in good condition will be recycled; only those beyond repair will be for sale. Another example that some signs don’t merely direct and inform; they provide touchstones to important moments.
 

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