Roughly 60% of consumers reported that a lack of signage deterred them from entering a business. But what about entering a state? People don’t often think about the importance of quality signage, but without signs, there would be all kinds of issues and confusion. Signs promote businesses, services, communities, and so much more. According to a recent study, over 40% of survey respondents stated that they had first learned about a local political candidate from a sign. Without signage to influence those people, two out of five people may have voted in a different manner simply because there was no name recognition for a particular political candidate.
Though not everybody is fully aware of the importance of an individual sign, some signage campaigns, like New York’s “I Love N.Y.” campaign have been around for years. Unfortunately, these welcoming and promotional state signs have caused some trouble on statewide roads, as well.
According to WKBW, the Federal Highway Administration has stated for years that the “I Love New York” signs are too big, contain too much information, and are too distracting, subsequently putting all New York drivers at risk. A day before all of the statewide signs were scheduled to come down, however, New York State and the federal government reached an agreement.
More than 50% of all products made in the U.S. require some form of welding, which isn’t free. The manufacturing, welding, and installation of all 514 “I Love New York” signs cost approximately $8 million. The agreement means that New York will not lose out on $14 million in federal highway funding.
“The New York State Department of Transportation and the Thruway Authority have been working with the Federal Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration on New York’s road signage tourism campaign,” read the official statement from NYS Thruway Authority Director Matthew Driscoll and NYS Department of Transportation Commissioner Paul Karas. “The campaign has been in place for approximately five years and has been highly successful. The Federal Highway Administration regulates signage on Federal Highways. We re pleased that our Federal partners understand our efforts to make this state more attractive and accessible to the traveling public and that they will work with the state to review our efforts and evaluate the impact on the traveling public.”
“I Love New York” has been a great campaign, but its signs causing distractions can be quite dangerous. There are plenty of state signs across the country that can be creative and not distracting, though. Here are some of the more creative welcoming signs across the country:
- Alabama — “Welcome to Sweet Home Alabama.” Alabama replaced its old signs with Lynyrd Skynyrd’s 1974 hit song, “Sweet Home Alabama.”
- California — “Welcome to California.” Rather than placing images like the coastline or oranges, the California Department of Transportation chose to write “Welcome to California” in a nice font with the state flower right next to it. Simple, creative, and visually appealing.
- Louisiana — “Welcome to Louisiana.” A fleur-de-lis symbol accompanied by the phrase “Bienvenue en Louisiana” are shoutouts to the state’s Cajun French culture, which is very much a part of the state’s identity today.