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Downtown Signage Committee Open House

The Downtown Signage Committee is seeking public input on three new design concepts for directional signage in Downtown Bloomington.

Large boards showing all three looks will be presented during a public open house 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 1 at the McLean County Museum of History. Citizens will be invited to share feedback and vote on the design they like the most. The boards will also be on display in the lobby of the Monroe Center/Fox and Hounds building located at 200 W. Monroe Street 8 a.m.- 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 2. The public is encouraged to participate in the selection process before findings are presented to the City Council later this year.

The Council on Sept. 11 tabled a vote on a design that included the tagline “Dream Big.” Following poor feedback from the public, aldermen recommended the committee revisit the concept and ask the KMA design firm for more ideas. Committee members met the next day and decided to drop the tagline and instead focus on its core mission: to decide on sites that should be highlighted downtown, to choose a style of signage, and to investigate costs.

“Based on council response and what people shared before the meeting and on social media, it was clear the tagline didn’t connect,” said Beth Whisman who was elected committee chair on Sept. 12. “We definitely heard what people liked and didn’t like about the signage and brand idea. We compared that new feedback to the survey data we gathered last year and asked KMA to deliver something that looks more like the downtown we know people love.”

KMA developed alternate ideas at no cost to the city that are more reflective of the traditional historic heritage of the city’s core. The firm also included a modified design using the original Art Deco look without the “Dream Big” tagline. Each concept includes directional signage, informational kiosks, and an archway for the north end of the downtown.

“Bloomington is unique and a traditional focus for signage will pay homage to its roots and present cohesiveness with the tapestry of architecture of different eras,” said KMA’s Barbara Martin. “Visitors will experience a sense of arrival as they see gateway and directional signage that reinforces the downtown’s beauty and helps them find key attractions, parking, and resources.”

To view the designs, please attend one of the public displays or visit the city’s website at www.cityblm.org.

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