(December 2009) posted on Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:56am EST
The Ohio capital’s new wayfinding program crosses paths with a timeless rooftop sign
By Steve Aust
Known as the Arch City, Columbus, Ohio serves as the capital city and the Buckeye State. The Ohio State University, where more than 60,000 students matriculate, serves as a focal point – especially the school’s Buckeye football team, which captivates residents and attracts roughly 100,000 crazed fans to Ohio Stadium on autumn Saturdays.
However, city officials are embracing Columbus’ progress as well as its heritage. The Arena District, which envelops Nationwide Arena, home of the NHL’s Blue Jackets and numerous large events, has attracted an array of retail and entertainment-oriented establishments. In tandem, the downtown, in particular the high-traffic convergence of Broad and High Streets, has become an epicenter of innovative, grand-format graphics and electronic digital signage (see “Graphics Come Fast” under Signweb’s Grand Format channel, and “Times Square, Buckeye Style”, under the Electronic Digital Signage channel).
As the central city becomes a more attractive destination, Columbus leaders wisely understood the need for an improved wayfinding system. They enlisted the Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District, a consortium of residential and commercial property owners that funds various Columbus services. In turn, Capital Crossroads hired Redirections Sign & Design (Indianapolis) to build the 97-sign wayfinding system. Columbus-based Sevell + Sevell Inc. handled their design.
According to Ryan Mackey, Redirections’ director of marketing, their project entailed installing new poles, applying a reflective coating to the panels, and changing the structures’ orientation to be more user-friendly. Redirections installed them in successions from those closest to an identified attraction to those farthest away. Depending upon the proximity to various destinations, such as the Arena District, the Statehouse and Civic Center, the signs provide directional arrows for one to five destinations.
The signs comprise 3M’s high-intensity, prismatic sheeting paired with Scotchlite™ 1170 electronic-cuttable film. The poles, which comprise Schedule 40 stainless steel, range in height from 10 ft. 8 in. to 21 ft. 4 in. tall, feature powdercoating for protection.
One of the wayfinding signs photographed juxtaposes nicely with the Columbus Dispatch headquarters’ handsome, classic rooftop sign. Dispatch management first had a rooftop sign installed in 1925 at its prior location, and had an updated version installed at its current digs in 1971. To keep up with the times – and Columbus’ new penchant for creative signage – the Dispatch added a news ticker in 2007, for which its digital-news department creates content.
Have you ever been in a new town and been frustrated by a lack of directions or signs leading you to your major point of interest? I don’t think we ever really appreciate wayfinding signage until we visit a city where there IS none.
One of the things I love about Indianapolis is that we have great wayfinding signage. Everywhere you look, there is a sign helping you get to where you need to go. Signs like this are extremely important not only for the visitors of cities and towns, but also for new residents.
If you’re in a town where there are historical landmarks, signs can be a great way to foster the heritage. Kenneth Fry recently said the following which we posted on our Redirections Blog:
“Signage is a crucial element for boosting community awareness of historic resources and preservation, according to a historic preservation plan adopted last month by the Van Buren City Council. “It also is critical in fostering heritage tourism,” the plan prepared by Thomason and Associates in Nashville, Tenn., states. “Signs serve both informational and interpretive purposes.”
The study says informational signs should be brief and include specific, factual information while interpretive signs are designed to educate and help visitors or residents make connection with the resource involved.”
Vickie Davis, chairman of the Van Buren Historic District Commission said the following about placement:
“Informational signs should also be placed at the main entrances to historic districts to let tourists and residents know that they are entering a significant place,” the study states. “These entry signs should have minimal content, simply stating the name of the district and perhaps including a brief greeting. They should be placed at the main entrances to the districts in highly visible locations.”
Whether you need new wayfinding signage for your town, or looking to design signs dedicated to your city’s heritage, Redirections can work with you from project design to installation of your project.
Redirections Sign & Design is a proud vendor and contractor for Capital Crossroads in Columbus, OH and was hired to manage, produce, and install the new City of Columbus wayfinding directional signs and free standing parking signs throughout the downtown area. The auto wayfinding directional signs serve to direct traffic to specific downtown Columbus attractions, museums, parks, and entertainment facilities and the neighborhood districts including German Village, the Arena District, and the Short North.
The City of Columbus Wayfinding Directional signs consisted of 97 .125 powder coated aluminum with 3M High Intesity Prismatic Vinyl graphics. They were either strapped to existing posts or installed with a direct burial, new stainless steel, black powder coated posts.
Redirections also provided the removal of existing and out of date directional signs. The installation of the new signs were conducted with minimal traffic interference and a Traffic Pattern Research was done to create installation guides so that traffic was not misdirected during the installation process.
Redirections Sign & Design is a national sign and custom design company. Established in 1987 as Redirections, Inc., the sign manufacturer is the leading provider of the Redirectional Weekend Signs directing traffic to new home community sales centers. Redirections Sign & Design is 100% woman-owned and is certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE).
The Redirections Sign & Design production facility equips the team to meet almost any custom signage need. The 30,000 square foot building includes CNC routers, vinyl and digital printers, silk-screen printing, a full-size spray booth, a complete mill shop, and also custom metal fabrication. Redirections works with several brick, stone and concrete contractors, to assure their clients have the most options possible for their signage solutions.
From banners to digital graphics, to routed and sandblasted signs, Redirections’ award-winning design team and graphic technicians are ready to work with you to fulfill your project’s unique signage needs. Their experience and commitment to customer satisfaction has earned them a competitive place in the sign industry. For more information on the products and services offered by Redirections Sign & Design visit www.re-directions.com.