Sign, Sign, Everywhere A Sign

One of the most powerful (and overlooked) forms of communication is signage.

A good sign conveys much more than direction. It instantly tells everything about the restaurant or store or park you’re about to enter. A clean, attractive, useful sign puts you at ease and builds excitement.

I’m particularly fond of signs because they jump-started my career--my first job was as associate editor of a sign trade publication. As a result, I was educated in the simple, unnoticed power of signage.

It is, quite literally, the grease that makes our world go.

Don’t believe me?

Take a moment now and imagine if every sign suddenly disappeared. No addresses. No stop signs. No grocery store signs. No post office signs. No lawyer signs. No signs.

“No problem, you say. I know my way around town.”

Oh? Really?

Now, imagine your car needs an oil change and you decide to take it to your local QuickLube franchise. You drive across town, pull up at 10 a.m. and the building is dark. Nobody’s there.

You check your calendar, it’s a Tuesday. It’s not a holiday. What now?

Easy. You drive across town to another location. But, alas, it’s the same problem.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a sign in the window letting you know the franchise was sold and will be closed for a week until the new owner gets his act together?

Yes, I suppose it would be.

In the case of parks and recreation agencies, good signage acts as a constant, public reminder that you exist, that you’re good at what you do and you benefit the city. Not a bad message to reinforce.

If you’re interested in a signage makeover for an agency, check out the tips and tricks offered in Marty Gregg’s, “Let Them Know Where to Go” on page 16.

If you’re already sign-savy, enjoy the rest of the issue which, this month, is chock full of park maintenance tips and yet another thought-provoking submission from Ron Ciancutti.

Till next month,

Rodney J. Auth