Signs of the Times - January 2013 - (Page 42)

DESIGN MATTERS By Jeff Russ Jeff Russ is ST’s Sr. Art Director and a freelance designer and illustrator. Signs and CoSign Transforming neighborhoods, one sign at a time (well, technically, 11). C lose your eyes and imagine top designers teaming up with signmakers and businesses to transform a neighborhood. Also imagine that it’s all funded by a visionary foundation committed to economic development. Now open your eyes and look at the result of such a collaboration: The CoSign project (www. CoSign chose the Cincinnati suburb of Northside, OH, as its pilot neighborhood with the intention of invigorating the central business district and spurring economic activity. The idea seems pretty simple, but the task of organizing, permitting, designing and installing took the coordinated efforts of dozens of committed individuals. After a city-wide call for visual artists and sign fabricators, the American Sign Museum held two events. Then everyone was paired up and on board. Eric Avner, vice president and senior program manager with the Haile/US Bank Foundation, which helped fund the project, then presided over a judging process. Proposals were judged by sign-design experts, myself included, and the top 10 designs were fabricated and installed at CoSign’s expense. Choosing only 10 of the 26 vi- able proposals proved quite a challenge. Eleven proposals eventually made the cut. I waited a few weeks before I photographed the signs “in their element”. I wanted to witness, firsthand, the CoSign vision of “the creative intersection of artist, signmaker and neighborhood business”. Northside’s Hamilton Ave. corridor, and the surrounding area, now benefit from a diverse and energetic, sign “critical mass” that highlights the funky nature of area businesses and upgrades sightlines in every direction. CoSign hopes to replicate this success elsewhere around Cincinnati, and eventually nationally. This project proves emphatically that signs, more than anything else, can transform a neighborhood and energize economic activity. ■ This CoSign sign was presented to Eric Avner at the unveiling event held at the American Sign Museum. Every sign had an official “unveiling” with local media and excited neighborhood residents on hand. Wordplay / Urban Legend Institute Owner: Libby Hunter Designer: Nick Schultz Fabrication: Sean Druley Lettering: Tim McComas/Brushworks Northside International Airport Owner: Aileen McGrath Designer: Jason Snell Fabrication: Zach Darmanian/Such+Such 42 SIGNS OF THE TIMES / JANUARY 2013 /

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - January 2013

Signs of the Times - January 2013
ST Update
Technology Update
Vinyl Apps
Strictly Commercial
Lighting Techniques
The Moving Message
Technology Review
Technology Review
Design Matters
New Products
Scenes from the Global Village
Crane Truck Safety Advice
Supreme Wrap
The Value of Signs
Industry News
Advertising Index
Editorially Speaking

Signs of the Times - January 2013