The first phase of installing new Delaware city street signs is completed, and more are expected to be installed in 2017.
The signs were installed this fall to improve what the city calls “wayfinding” in the downtown.
“Fifty signs are up now, and there’s three types of signs that are part of this wayfinding phase one,” said Lee Yoakum, the city’s community affairs coordinator. “There are the downtown parking identifiers, which is a blue P; the downtown directional with the text that tells you what’s ahead and an arrow pointing in a direction; and the third type is the trailblazer sign, which is smaller, but it points you in the direction of downtown.”
The signs all have a unified look, with dark blue and red colors and similar typefaces.
“When this wayfinding project first began, we were just thinking about needing better signage,” Yoakum said. “But we quickly realized that the city really needed a consistent and updated visual brand.”
The city hired Studigrafik, a Cleveland-based firm that specializes in “brand development” for communities in Ohio and the Midwest, to put together a new logo for Delaware. That look now appears in the downtown street signs, as well as letterhead and other city materials.
“What it has ensured is a consistent community brand that people identify with the city of Delaware,” Yoakum said. “It provides our drivers with an integrated and consistent system at the key decision points in the city, (instead 0f) just a bunch of signs.”
Yoakum said that although the new signs are more for visitors, there has been positive response from residents.
“A person came up to me and said the signs are effective, look professional and represents downtown in a positive way. It’s something new for the city of Delaware, but in our view it represents the next step in the evolution of our downtown.”
In 2016, the city will finalize locations for phase two of the sign project. Those locations will include gateway signs at the jurisdictional and perceived boundaries of Delaware, and facility identifiers for parks and buildings.
“Now that the downtown has been addressed, phase two would have more of a citywide focus to get people through and around the city and into the downtown,” Yoakum said.
The number of signs for phase two is expected to be less than phase one, but they will be similar in appearance. According to Yoakum, “Installation wouldn’t happen until 2017, at the earliest.”
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.