Sign, sign, everywhere a sign! I design plenty of them (would I say this year has been a “banner” year for signs?) and know that an effective sign is one of the best ways to let the public know that something is available to them and how to take advantage of it.
This is a 3 foot x 8 foot banner printed on lightweight nylon. This material is light enough to move slightly in a breeze, the most eye-catching feature of a banner, and it’s also heavy enough to hang straight without curling edges, one of the drawbacks of a banner.
The Capt. Thos. Espy post is on the second floor of Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, tucked away in the architecture of the building. Even though it’s been in that spot since 1906, it was intended to be a the meeting room for a private social group so it’s never had any fanfare announcing where it is. Many people, even regular Library users, have no idea it’s there at all, and beyond that, what it is.
Now that the room has undergone a complete renovation and is for the first time in its history open for regular tours, the facility has offered quite a bit of publicity and received quite a bit of coverage from the media and it’s time to give a little direction. Something in the lobby would be perfect.
In an area where there are already many other signs and indicators such as the Library’s lobby with literature racks, bus schedules, reading program information and so on, I will always attest to the effectiveness of a banner. Banners are not rooted to the ground but are usually hung above eye level on a wall or even from the ceiling, and they are also not stationary like racks and mounted signs, but move with air currents. This makes them ideally eye-catching in a busy area.
From the first time this subject came up, I pretty much visualized this banner with its “Union blue” background, taken from the Union soldiers’ uniform trousers color, and that drum, one of the artifacts of the room which has always intrigued me; though it’s not from the Civil War, it was one of the possessions of Capt. Thos. Espy himself.
Below is a photo of the lobby with the banner in place.
We get so accustomed to spaces that we can often misjudge their size. It’s hard to believe this banner is 3 feet wide and 8 feet tall, and yet it barely fills the space above the door!
That was the main reason for the color choice, though. With all the muted marble and black wrought iron, plus the interesting natural light in the lobby only from the door and the windows far above, the space tends to be dim. Where historic depictions are used, sepia tones are often included in the design, but that would have been totally lost in this space. That was the other reason for the bright blue and the drum.
Visit the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall website to read more about the room and about the facility itself.
I’m proud to say that I designed the website, and set up the Photo Gallery so visitors could see the place and what happens there.