BLOOMINGTON — The Downtown Signage Committee will unveil next month three new design concepts for downtown wayfinding and welcoming signs in hopes that residents find one they like. 

Instead, the council approved allocating another $10,000 for the city's consultant KMA Design to come up with other slogan, design and branding options for the council to review.

Large boards showing all three looks will be presented during a public open house from 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 1 at the McLean County Museum of History. 

The boards also will be displayed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 2 in the lobby of the Monroe Center/Fox & Hounds Salon and Day Spa building, 200 W. Monroe St.

Residents are encouraged to provide feedback and vote on the design they like the most.

The earlier design concept featured the "Dream Big" slogan on red, white and blue gateway and wayfinding signs intended to direct visitors to and around downtown.

"Based on council response and what people shared before the (Sept. 11) meeting and on social media, it was clear the tagline didn't connect," said Beth Whisman, who was elected committee chairwoman Sept. 12. "We definitely heard what people liked and didn't like about the signage and brand idea." 

KMA developed alternate concept designs at no cost to the city "that are more reflective of the traditional historic heritage of the city's core," said the city in a statement issued earlier this week.

The $10,000 allocated by the council for KMA to come up with new design options will stay in the signage committee's budget, said Assistant City Manager Steve Rasmussen.

"We had $250,000 allocated for signage, and what that was mostly going to be used for was fabricating and installing the signs," he added. 

Two of the design concepts now feature more of turn-of-the-century historic motif with the signs suspended from Victorian-style wrought iron posts and stone bases. The firm also provided a modified design using the original Art Deco look without the "Dream Big" tagline. 

Each concept includes directional signage, informational kiosks and an archway for the north end of the downtown.

"Bloomington is unique and a traditional focus for signage will pay homage to its roots and present cohesiveness with the tapestry of architecture of different eras," said KMA's Barbara Martin. "Visitors will experience a sense of arrival as they see gateway and directional signage that reinforces the downtown's beauty and helps them find key attractions, parking and resources."

In August 2016, the council approved a $62,190 contract with the Pittsburgh-based signage designer. 

To view the designs, people can attend one of the public displays or visit the city’s website at www.cityblm.org. People can also vote online at: http://www.cityblm.org/government/boards-commissions/downtown-signage-committee/2017-downtown-bloomington-wayfinding.

"It's important for the committee to get the public's input because they want to bring something back to the council that will be acceptable to the community," said Rasmussen.

Follow Maria Nagle on Twitter: @Pg_Nagle

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