Category Archives: signs

Strict planning & zoning destroys eclectic, offbeat, and funky

After three decades in the planning profession and several more years since retirement, I’ve come to the conclusion that if you want your community to maintain or build a funky, hip, offbeat, or eccentric vibe, it can not be done … Continue reading

Posted in adaptive reuse, advertising, Advocacy, archaeology, architecture, art, branding, business, cities, civics, commerce, consumerism, Cuisine, culture, demographics, deregulation, diversity, economic development, economic gardening, entertainment, entrepreneurship, family, Food, fun, gentrification, health, historic preservation, history, homelessness, Housing, humanity, inclusiveness, infrastructure, land use, landscape architecture, marketing, Mining, opinion, pictures, placemaking, planning, poverty, product design, revitalization, shopping, signs, Small business, social equity, spatial design, third places, tourism, Travel, urban design, urban planning, visual pollution, zoning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tucumcari – Where signs are art

A recent trip through Tucumcari, New Mexico on old Route 66 revealed a litany of roadside history, not least of which were some amazing signs. The following photo montage depicts a sample of these structures and reveals the artistry of … Continue reading

Posted in advertising, architecture, art, branding, Cities, commerce, Communications, consumerism, culture, fun, geography, highways, historic preservation, history, land use, pictures, placemaking, product design, signs, tourism, Trade, Travel, urban planning, zoning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Roadside Americana: Atomic age stops, sights, and oddities

This blogpost is a little adventure through the sights and sounds of America’s roadside culture to depict how the Atomic Age has impacted it since 1945. A whole variety of businesses have adopted the term “atomic” or some variation thereof … Continue reading

Posted in adaptive reuse, advertising, archaeology, architecture, art, atomic age, branding, brewpubs, cities, coffee shops/cafes, Communications, consumerism, Cuisine, culture, economic development, entertainment, entrepreneurship, fun, geography, historic preservation, history, land use, Maps, marketing, military, place names, placemaking, Science, Science fiction, signs, technology, theaters, third places, toponymy, tourism, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Town That Was Moved Four Times!

The first of our new “Frontier Towns” series is about the historic Great Plains town of Julesburg, Colorado. At the crossroads of multiple important and historic transcontinental routes lies the quaint Great Plains town of Julesburg, Colorado. This classic western … Continue reading

Posted in Active transportation, adaptive reuse, architecture, bicycling, Biking, branding, cities, civics, commerce, culture, downtown, economic development, economic gardening, entertainment, environment, film, fun, geography, historic preservation, history, infrastructure, land use, Maps, movies, nature, Passenger rail, place names, placemaking, planning, rail, Railroads, recreation, rivers/watersheds, signs, Small business, sustainability, theaters, topography, tourism, Trade, trails, transportation, Travel, urban planning, Welcome | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eons of neon in Tucson

If there is one type of signage this urban planner adores, it’s tastefully designed mid-century neon. And if there is one place to find such glorious signage, it’s Tucson, Arizona, where the city and local preservation groups have done a … Continue reading

Posted in advertising, architecture, art, Cities, Communications, consumerism, economic development, fun, historic preservation, history, land use, planning, shopping, signs, tourism, Transportation, Travel, Uncategorized, zoning | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Time to say goodbye to large commercial signs?

With approximately 77 percent of all Americans now owning a smartphone, is there really a need for large commercial signs? One only needs to use the mapping software and GPS directions on their phones or built into their cars to … Continue reading

Posted in advertising, branding, cities, Communications, Economy, entertainment, futurism, geography, infrastructure, internet, Maps, marketing, pictures, placemaking, planning, signs, spatial design, technology, tourism, transportation, Travel, zoning | Tagged | Leave a comment

Stitching together a “Quilt Barn Trail”

On Michigan’s historic Old Mission Peninsula, the community has banded together to stitch a Quilt Barn Trail. One may ask, as I first did, what is a Quilt Barn Trail? Essentially, it is an effort to celebrate and recognize the … Continue reading

Posted in adaptive reuse, agriculture, architecture, art, branding, civics, Communications, culture, economic development, economic gardening, entertainment, environment, family, fun, geography, historic preservation, history, land use, Maps, placemaking, planning, revitalization, signs, tourism, trails, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Urban design without fake plastic signs

In many communities across the country, commercial signage seems to be employed in a manner that appears more appropriate in Las Vegas, Times Square, or in this Radiohead video for the song Fake Plastic Trees, rather than on businesses fronting Main Street. … Continue reading

Posted in adaptive reuse, advertising, architecture, art, branding, business, cities, commerce, Communications, consumerism, downtown, economic development, historic preservation, history, land use, new urbanism, placemaking, planning, signs, urban planning, zoning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Fun, clever, vain, and odd boat names

Below are some of the best and worst boat names observed during our week along the Lake Michigan coastline. Of those listed, the most common themes appear to be relaxation/getting away from it all (9), partying (5), and the value of … Continue reading

Posted in Active transportation, branding, Communications, consumerism, culture, fun, Language, North America, sailing, satire, signs, tourism, Travel | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

I scream for Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor

“I scream…you scream…we all scream…for ice cream!” One of the newest and sweetest delights of visiting Mackinac Island is Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor at the base of The Grand Hotel. True to the island’s quaint Victorian-era heritage, this wonderfully decorated … Continue reading

Posted in adaptive reuse, Animals, architecture, bicycling, Biking, branding, business, cities, commerce, Cuisine, culture, economic development, entertainment, family, Food, fun, historic preservation, history, land use, Pets, pictures, placemaking, planning, product design, recreation, signs, third places, tourism, Travel, walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment