Category Archives: signs

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

Rolling stock signage


Has anyone else in the planning and zoning realm noticed how certain retail and dining establishments are now strategically placing a fully decaled truck, car, or van in their parking lot to further advertise their business to those passing by? … Continue reading

Posted in advertising, branding, Cars, commerce, Communications, entrepreneurship, government, land use, marketing, planning, product design, signs, transportation, urban planning, visual pollution, zoning | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beware of the weekend sign gremlins


Even notice how a plethora of yard signs suddenly pop-up like dandelions at street intersections on Friday evenings, only to disappear by Monday morning? Those are the result of gremlins putting up signs when they know full well that building … Continue reading

Posted in advertising, branding, cities, civics, civility, commerce, Communications, consumerism, government, land use, marketing, planning, signs, urban planning, visual pollution, zoning | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

More signs are not a cure for a bad business model


As an urban planner, I find it amazing how sign companies can routinely convince business owners that large, flashy, expensive, and abundant signage will be an instant solution to their business woes. In some very rare cases this might be … Continue reading

Posted in advertising, branding, cities, civics, commerce, Communications, consumerism, government, infrastructure, land use, landscape architecture, planning, product design, signs, transportation, urban planning, visual pollution, zoning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment