April '23

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M A P R I L 2 0 2 3 • G R A P H I C S P R O 7 5 stay to the left — it wraps around, so stay on this dirt road until you see the red shop trailer, then drive around back to the site where the hole is being dug." If you are old enough to recall this time in our world, the way we located places was with maps. With those maps, we relied upon visual landmarks. Toot-N- Moo, the dirt mounds, and the car deal- ership were those landmarks back then. Sometimes you were lucky, like in locat- ing a mall, for instance. e tall land- marks were 50' pylon or monument signs that let you know, from a half mile away, that the mall you were looking for was straight ahead. Since malls were invented, the "anchor tenant" sign was huge and used as the identifier of the property. "We're located in the Sears Mall." However, even when you found the property, you then had to confirm that the business was still located there. "Did it move, or is it open yet?" (You forgot to call before you left the shop, cell phones weren't widespread, and the ones that existed were bigger than bricks.) So rather than stopping at a payphone to call the store, you'd look around for the tenant panel sign you saw that was located on the tall pylon sign. ere, just under the big SEARS sign, was the 12" tall by 36" long tenant panel sign that told you for sure that the business you sought was, in fact, in this mall. No hours posted, but you'd just have to take a chance. Now, the big question was where to park so that you wouldn't end up walking the entire mall property to get to the store. Hopefully, you would find an entrance sign or some markings on the outside of the mall to let you know that the store you sought was just beyond those doors. It was all about having a great mem- ory and knowing where to look to find the signs you needed to navigate a large property such as a business park. Or maybe you were trying to locate a home A giant QR code as a sign? Gone are the days of squinting and search- ing for your store. If you hadn't already used a map app to find your store, this idea of a monsterous QR Code would provide patrons a much more usable and friendly customer experience than a typical tenant panel sign can. (Images used with permission of Mike Burke, Chatterbox Sign Design and Drawings) This is the front sign you would get if you were a tenant at this shopping cen- ter. That's it. And mostly due to municipal codes, the square footage is so minimal compared to the sprawl of the mall, it's no wonder that the tenants feel they are fighting to be noticed.

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