New welcome signs for Washington

Published 5:32 pm Wednesday, July 2, 2014

In effort to improve the eye appeal with tourists and residents, the City of Washington will be adding new signs in the coming months to better welcome and guide people coming into Washington.

The Wayfinding Plan is a joint signage project with the city and Deep Fried Creative Advertising, a downtown Washington-based company. The signs will welcome people and give directions to downtown, the Vidant-Beaufort Hospital, cemeteries and parks, along with other sites in the city.

The project began because Washington’s signs are dated, insufficient and not coordinated, according to a Deep Fried Creative press release.

“The signage that we have is inconsistent and we have had a lot of different kind of signs that the city has made and that NCDOT put up for us, “ said John Rodman, Washington’s director of planning and development. “We’re trying to find the best entrance ways to the city and trying to improve the process.”

As the project moves forward, the Wayfinding Committee may include a smart phone app, and make the city’s website more interactive, Rodman said.

“There have been mentions of digital aspects, but we’re not really sure if that is going to come into play in this phase,” said Dustin Dixon, account manager with Deep Fried. “This is going to be a long-term thing, and I don’t know if it’s going to be this year or the following year.”

The committee is hosting a public hearing on July 22 at the Grace Martin Harwell Senior Center. During the meeting, the group will discuss a number of topics, including whether color-coated signs are feasible.

“We want the public to give us some input on what they should look like and what they need: Should the signs best reflect the city or our new city branding (seal)?: So we just want the public input because that’s the best way to go,” Rodman said.

The City of Washington and Deep Fried Creative are working together to make the signs a part of Washington for years to come, Dixon said.

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