Cutting-edge signs for a bustling downtown

 Over winter break, Downtown Kent spruced up its navigational system with newly designed road signs and street decorations.

Keely Kennedy

As students departed for winter break this past month, the city of Kent engaged in a project to liven downtown.

The new signs are part of the comprehensive Signage and Wayfinding Program, which has been constructing areas around Kent since 2011, that helps to create a sense of place amongst the people.

“The goals set in mind for these signs are to help guide and direct visitors and also speak to people through unique personality signs,” said James Bowling, city of Kent superintendent of engineering.

Kent creates lighthearted signs for downtown from on Vimeo.

The program’s first initiative included the blue and gold Kent State signs that can be found around campus and town and contain directions to campus buildings, parking, roads and sports stadiums.

Recently, the city increased downtown signs that contain more personality and less uniform in the information provided.

The signs are part of a total contract of $230,000 with funding provided by downtown development for public infrastructure, Bowling said.

A few examples of the new signs that can be found downtown include signs pointing towards parking, which ensures an easier maneuverability around Kent, and signs guiding people to the general shopping, dining and entertainment areas.

Featured personality signs include “High five a stranger!” and “You are Beautiful!”

Off the Wagon employee Ari Miller voiced her opinion toward the new signs.

“We have a happy town with happy signs,” Miller said.

She said she has noticed that people really enjoy the boost of motivation while taking a stroll through the downtown shops.

“The signs look great, they’re very positive and informative,” Mike Dalessando of Ray’s Place said.

Bowling said there are more changes to come, including banners in the downtown area.

Contact Keely Kennedy at [email protected].