The Once and Future Urbanism of Sandwich Boards

Chuck Wolfe traces the comeback of sandwich board signage in cities, explains how associated regulations work, and offers reasons why such signage should be carefully fostered.

Referencing sandwich board signs, Wolfe notes that "rethinking allowed uses in city rights-of-way can change the look and feel of streets in unexpected fashion" as "both fascinating symptoms and emblems of the changing city".

Referencing regulatory approaches in Aspen and Seattle, he offers five criteria for why sandwich boards should stay:

1. Homespun simplicity sells.
2. Artisans need work and small businesses need affordable ways to shine.
3. Well done signs bring character to neighborhood.
4. Sandwich boards can supplement permitted facade signage and increase the prominence of a small business.
5. Perhaps most important, like other forms of pop-up urbanism, removal is an option.

Wolfe concludes: "[W]e should foster and encourage quick fixes that innovate. If done right, aren't sandwich boards one example that can literally show the way?"

Thanks to Chuck Wolfe

Full Story: The Sandwich Board Makes a Comeback


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