Apr 17, 2015 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM CDT
This presentation will review how signs can improve downtown communities including economic development and tourism. The presentation will include the International Sign Association’s (ISA) latest research , Signs and the Downtown Experience, and trends in downtown sign development. The last 10 years have seen enormous changes occur in acceptance of both commercial and institutional physical and digital landmark signs, as well as urban and community wayfinding. Signs are widely viewed today as a key driver of brand strategy by cities, retailers, and institutions. This focus has resulted in multiple design innovations including improved legibility, quality materials, modern lighting, and integration into buildings and landscape. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of these best practices as vehicles for community and business improvement have been hindered by the deficit of research and education in the field, putting evidence based design methodologies out of reach for most organizations and sign builders. This research survey focuses on the impact of different design approaches and strategies for exterior landmark signs, digital, and wayfinding signs. By reviewing the status and importance of different attributes, we can compare the effectiveness of different approaches, and by comparing them to different strategies and economic trends, we can create a clearer picture of how effective signs both enhance commercial institutions, but also play an important role in enhancing the community and environment.