Highway sign looking for more logos

Tuesday, May 08, 2012 06:00 am | By Madison Samuel-Barclay

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Some investigation and possible additions to the Didsbury highway sign have gotten underway.

The sign, which changed over to the blue, North American-standard design from the original brown style in 2006, has long only advertised Tanas Concrete as a business Didsbury had to offer to those driving past.

Community Planning Officer Lesley Bannister is looking to see some other local businesses displayed to drivers as well.

The highway sign itself, however, is not a town project, but was implemented by Alberta Transportation and Travel Alberta, and delegated to Guide Signs Industries.

The purpose of the sign was to promote tourism and business sites to the 50,000 drivers who use the highway on a daily basis. However, when the call for applications went out after the new sign’s implementation, only one business was later posted.

“This came to my attention and I was curious,” said Bannister, who began looking into the signage in the summer of 2011. “I come from a tourism background, one of my passions is getting Didsbury more tourism friendly, and signage would be a great starting point.”

Since then, Bannister has re-contacted local businesses who may have come after the sign’s installation and dropped off handwritten notices.

Guide Signs Industries takes applications for the sign for a fee of $2,250 for a five-year term. The fee includes installation and the logo used on the sign.

A sign holds up to nine logos, allowing up to 18 advertising slots for the two signs planned for Didsbury. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis however.

It then takes two months to get a logo made and put up. In a situation where there are four or more businesses posted of the same field (gas and food, for example), another separate sign for that field can be put up for no extra cost.

As of now, two other businesses, WestCan and Golden River, have submitted their applications to be on the sign.

“It can be challenging for businesses in Didsbury because they’re asking for a logo, and so many businesses are owner-operated, and not with a strong brand presence,” said Bannister. “It’s a challenge worth it for the amount of exposure, though.”

“Didsbury has enormous potential, we have phenomenal businesses here,” added Bannister. “I would love to see signs of our local businesses up there. It’s a pretty awesome program. The cost for a billboard that lasts for a few weeks is in the high thousands, but this is opportunity for a logo on a sign for five years for less. It gets drivers to make the six-kilometre trek, and makes the community look big and vibrant.”


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