Monday, July 16, 2012

Dunwoody Wayfinding or Dunwoody Marketing?

At issue is spending $150,000 to $500,000 in more signage for Dunwoody.  The first question to ask is 'Do we need any or all these signs?' and then 'Is this the best use of this money'?
After some thought, perhaps the city should move ahead with part of the sign program - but the way finding stuff only.  The self -centered 'Dunwoody' signs are over the top and not needed. let's be honest here - drivers don't care if they are in Dunwoody or Sandy Springs or Brookhaven or Doraville.  Drivers are going from A to B, regardless of what political jurisdiction the pavement flows.  The egotistical monuments declaring 'Dunwoody' and "Welcome to Dunwoody' are the equal of Government-funded art, also known as a waste of funds, and an eye sore. Factor in maintenance and we are talking big money, ongoing, forever.

Only Las Vegas has (and deserves) a 'Welcome' sign. Everything else is like those dumb steel sculptures you see out in front of Government buildings. The "Welcome to ......." signs are a thing of the past and a waste of money.

If a person driving on Mt Vernon or Spalding or Ashford Dunwoody Road has no idea where they are, who cares?  They managed to get here - they can figure out their location when they look at their fast-food receipt.

Let's take a detailed look at the way-finding signs.  Exactly to where does city Government want to direct drivers? (from the city's official sign schedule)

Dunwoody High School: okay, we do get parents and teams needing to know this locale. Plus, some of the new transfers may need the extra guidance.

Georgia Perimeter College: see above (but they can always ask Woroniecki)

Library / Arts Center: okay, people need to know where free Internet/computers are located

Brook Run Park: okay

Windwood Hollow Park: okay, since I myself don't know where this place is located. 

Dunwoody Nature Center: okay

Dunwoody Park; also known as the home to Metro Atlanta Sr. baseball league. These signs could be misleading as when one reads 'Dunwoody Park' they might think there is actually something for kids/family to do here, and the signs will create more traffic and disappointed visitors to 'Dunwoody Park'.

Dunwoody Village: not okay.  This is a commercial area.  This is not New York where we are pinpointing the five boroughs.  Why do drivers need to know when/where they are in Dunwoody Village or Georgetown area? 

Perimeter Mall: not okay.  It's not DisneyWorld or Six Flags.  The folks getting off MARTA know how to get to the mall. 

Perimeter Park: see above comment for Windwood Hollow Park

Police / City Hall: okay

Donaldson-Bannister Farm: These signs could be misleading as when one reads 'Farm' they might think there is actually something for kids/family to do here, and the signs will create more traffic and disappointed visitors to 'Farm'. Until this place is renovated and actually has a purpose and parking, why put up a sign?

Georgetown Village:  see note for Dunwoody Village.  All this talk of 'villages' leads one to believe we Dunwoodians are living in cedar-roofed flats, visiting the cobbler and blacksmith on weekends. We all know that our city resembles a hamlet more than a village.

MARTA:  okay, but easier to ask Norb how to get to MARTA.

Fire Station: okay

Williamsburg Village: not okay.  see notes for Georgetown Village and Dunwoody Village

Vernon Oaks Park:  see Windwood Hollow Park

So what did not make the sign list? 

Top 7 Sign Snubs:

#7 Fleming's Steak House - Now until July 29th, Prime New York Strip (Tuscan Style) special for $39.95 with salad and dessert

#6 Vermack Swimming Pool - Home to DJ Vermack and Dunwoody's finest swim team

#5  Dunwoody Post Office - Home to the Buick driver taking three minutes to deposit a post card in the wrong-way mail box

#4 Vanderlyn Elementary School - Vandy Runs on Dunkin (shirts still available)

#3 The bank.  Which bank?
#2 The FarmHouse  (the original, not the Bannister-Chesnut-Donaldon-Spruill wannabe)

#1 Mellow Mushroom  Home to cold Hoegaarden on draft, fresh pizza pies made with real spring water dough, calzones, hoagies, and pretzels with red sauce.
(Disclaimer: This blogger did not receive any free goods from Mellow Mushroom for this #1 snub.  However, they can email me and arrange for a date/time for a large cheese pizza and a pitcher of beer.  Otherwise Gallo's may make the list next time)

Want to see how many and where signs would be placed?  Look HERE.

And we don't need the 'Village' and 'PCID" distinctions.

The Perimeter wants their own symbol/logo on THEIR signs?  Can't really blame them, do you?  They (the PCID) recognize a botched branding / logo when they see it.  They don't want to give tours to prospective tenants and be asked, "What's up with the Wal-mart logo everywhere?  Are we in Bentonville, AR?" You folks over in Georgetown should insist on your own logo on the signs, same for the FarmHousers and the Williamsburg folks.

We all know signs were a top reason for incorporating.  So why are some of the FarmHousers suddenly supporting this signage orgy?
Future Dunwoody Village/Hamlet Sign locations