CoSign has now been implemented three times in successive years in the greater Cincinnati area. Each instance served to refine and improved the model and to create a replicable model that could be scaled into communities across the United States.
CoSign began in Northside, a diverse and progressive community characterized by small, locally-owned businesses. The first time around, CoSign invited artists to design signage for Northside businesses in a competitive process aimed at improving the look of the district.
At the end of the project we had a basic framework for the engagement process. In total, 32 businesses participated, 52 artists submitted 152 sign designs and 11 new signs were created. In order to achieve the most impact for the local businesses, the signs were unveiled on Black Friday, November 23, 2012 during a publicly promoted parade and walking tour.
CoSign: Case Study for Creative Signage
Special thanks to Queen City Project, a collaboration between Bluestone Creative & Alias Imaging.
Music: "Favorite Secrets" by Waylon Thornton.
Market Side Unveiling
Casablanca Vintage unveiling
Urban Legend Institute
OFF the Avenue
After the completion of the first CoSign, we began to craft the mission of what CoSign truly is: a model for utilizing the arts for economic development, that brings together local business owners with artists and professional sign fabricators to create unique signage in designated business districts and train the next generation of sign makers. In 2013, over the course of six months we focused on how to engage the community better and refine the program's process.
Upon it's completion, a total of 22 businesses participated, 70 artists submitted 265 sign designs and 9 new signs were created for the business district. The signs were unveiled during Black Friday, November 29, 2013 to the entire Northside community.
CoSign 2.0 Critical Mass
Special thanks to the Queen City project, a collaboration between Bluestone Creative & Alias Imaging.
In 2014, the City of Covington partnered with the American Sign Museum to bring CoSign to the down-town business core, a neighborhood targeted for economic redevelopment and revitalization. Covington Arts, the city's municipal arts program received an Our Town Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to help fund the project and it's implementation.
This iteration presented CoSign with a different set of challenges including a point-based historic guidelines system and different permitting requirements.
The CoSign process was flexible enough to adjust to these new working conditions and resulted in 9 new signs for the business district. During the engagement phase, 26 businesses applied to participate and over 130 artists attending one of two workshops to learn more about the program. During the design competition, we received 169 designs from 50 artists. Each participating small business was able to pick their favorite design.
CoSign Iowa City was a collaboration between the ASM, the Iowa City Downtown District, the City of Iowa City, presenting sponsor MidWestOne Bank and the greater Iowa City community.
A thriving business district located in close proximity to the University of Iowa, this neighborhood featured over 150 property owners, retail and luxury stores, great restaurants and bars, book stores, galleries and public art.
At the end of a whirlwind timeline, the downtown received 12 new signs for the business district. There were initially 25 businesses engaged, 18 of which participated in the process and 70+ artists submitted 250+ sign designs. What made this collaboration so interesting was the innovative sponsorship model they developed to fund the project.
CoSign Iowa City
CoSign Valley Junction was a collaboration between the ASM and the Historic Valley Junction Foundation, City of West Des Moines, Polk County Board of Supervisors, Main Street Iowa, Bravo Greater Des Moines, the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and the local community.
This nationally recognized Great American Main Street is an historic shopping district of West Des Moines. An incredible mix of old and new, this neighborhood is one for young and old alike, it's walkable, has year-round events and a diverse array of shops for all tastes.
espite a rainstorm worthy of Homer's Odyssey, Valley Junction installed 10 new signs for the district. Through out the process 22 businesses participated and 25 artists submitted 75 sign designs. For any business district looking to participate in CoSign, what made this project so unique was the forward-thinking collaboration between local and state American Main Street programs.