Bloomington’s Downtown Signage Committee is already back at work, looking to develop a new design for wayfinding signs that will get a warmer reception from aldermen.
The Bloomington City Council turned away their first design—anchored by the tagline “Dream Big”—at its Sept. 11 meeting, noting negative feedback received from constituents. That design work was the result of extensive public input, including an open forum and survey.
But aldermen and the public didn’t see the actual final proposed design until just before the Sept. 11 meeting when it was scheduled to be approved. Aldermen tabled their vote.
Next time, the committee will share that final proposed design concept in a public setting prior to asking aldermen to vote on it, said committee chair and Assistant City Manager Steve Rasmussen.
“I think maybe we need to do it a little more informally the next time around, get some more input,” Rasmussen said.
As per a contract approved in 2016, the city is paying Pittsburgh-based design firm KMA $62,190. The city and KMA reached a “mutual agreement” for KMA to continue work now on its original contract, instead of drawing on the additional $10,000 aldermen set aside Sept. 11 for additional design work. That $10,000 hasn’t been spent yet but would be spend later in the process, Rasmussen said.
“Sometimes it takes awhile to work around these things,” he said. “This is to a large degree a matter of taste. And you can’t legislate taste. You just keep working through it. And pretty soon you’ll get to the point where you’ll get that ‘wow factor.’ And we’re gonna get there. We’re just not there yet.”
The Downtown Signage Committee has met nearly 50 times in the past two years. Its next meeting is Oct. 10.
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