Signs of the Times - January 2014 - (Page 46)

De s ign M a t te r s By Jeff Russ Jeff Russ is ST's Sr. Art Director, a freelance designer and an illustrator. CoSign 2.0 photos by Jeff Russ Northside, OH's second makeover proves signs can transform A fter CoSign's first go-around in the Cincinnati suburb of Northside, the main business district was spruced-up, invigorated and made more interesting. At the time, sign advocate and urban visionary Eric Avner spoke of "creative placemaking" and the economic importance of well-designed signs. CoSign's recent second round of custom-designed signs has successfully transformed the neighborhood into a full-blown commerce and recreation destination. CoSign (a collaboration between the American Sign Museum and the Carol Ann & Ralph V. Haile Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation) unveiled nine new signs November 29. The design and fabrication process required six months, but the impact was immediate. A nice video explaining how it works can be found at Like last time (see ST, January The Listing Loon Artist: Quinn Kummer, Fabricator: Nathan Currier-Groh/BaserMatter Bracket: Kate Demske/Solid Ground Studio Barrio Tequileria Artist: Scott A Ryan, Fabricator: Paul Shoemaker/Creative Blast, Lettering and graphics: Tim McComas/Brushworks, Bracket/Frame: Kate Demske/Solid Ground Studio 2013, page 42), designs were submitted (nearly 300!) to the participating businesses, who Northside Grange Pet & Urban Farm Supply Artist: Ursula Roma, Fabricator: Dan Augur/Augur Metal Products, Inc. 46 SIGNS OF THE TIMES January 2014 picked their favorites to be judged. A panel of design experts (I was again honored to be a judge) then selected nine finalists to be fabricated, installed and unveiled. The unveiling ceremony was quite a neighborhood event, with local media on hand to cover the event. Photos only partially do justice to the end results. Individually, each sign is a compelling mixture of art and craftsmanship, but taken as a whole, the signs create a much stronger effect. Eric's suggestion of "creative place-making" certainly rings true. American Sign Museum founder Tod Swormstedt sees it as "an opportunity to educate business owners and the general public about the importance of signs." An exact formula for effective sign density might be tough to pin down, but this second round of signage in this eclectic Cincinnati suburb surely makes the case that "more is more". n

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - January 2014

Signs of the Times - January 2014
ST Update
Technology Update
Large-Format Design Strategies
Vinyl Apps
Strictly Commercial
Lighting Techniques
The Moving Message
Technology Review - Agfa’s Jeti Titan X
Technology Review - Polytype’s NQ32 UV hybrid printer
Design Matters
New Products
Industry News
GableSigns’ Casino Signs
Dynamic Digital Signage Made Simple
Building Street Cred
Modern Sign Engineering
Advertising index
Editorially speaking

Signs of the Times - January 2014