11 September 2009

Sign of the Times

Has anyone noticed the new Owen Brown Village signs?

elkhorn sign

These signs are maintained by the Columbia Association. Over time, they have been replacing signs in the city. Sometimes the new signs closely approximate the original design. For instance, here is one of the original Running Brook Signs:

old rb sign 2

Compare the above sign with this sign that was installed last year:

new rb sign

In other cases, the new sign is completely different from the old sign. For example, this sign outside the Locust Park Neighborhood Center is consistent with the original neighborhood stucco-and-brown-board-with-white-lettering signage in Long Reach.

lpnc sign

The Long Reach neighborhood signs have all been replaced with the following style:

lp sign

The Columbia Association has also been placing a standardized sign indicating different amenities throughout Columbia:

lake elkhorn sign

symphony woods sign

Although some signs are not very well maintained:

wilde lake sign

At times, there have been stumbles. The Town Center sign below was originally pink:

town center sign

That's where I am right now with the Owen Brown signs. There is something about them that seems a little bit off.

ob sign

The white lettering on a deep blue background, a hint of red...maybe it was a departure from the the earth tones that dominate our sign-scape. I thought about it, but that wasn't the problem. There is something about the white-on-blue with red piping...and framed in gray.

The other day I was in Laurel, and it all came together.

Wal Mart Laurel


Dave W said...

The TC signs were actually originally a bright orange before they were repainted brown.

Here was a picture of the original sign back then.


Alan said...

OMG. I was on the board at the time the original sign concept was voted on. I voted for them. I felt that the village signs could use some freshining, and we chose colors we thought would remind us of the Nautical Theme the old signs carried. If I had even once thought that they would match the evil place, I would have lobbied hard to get new colors. Bill, I think you have ruined the signs for me now. Ha Ha..

B. Santos said...


As a village board member in another maritime village, I can understand the need to connect to the water. Quite honestly, I thought the colors were a welcome departure from the brown/beige/green that we see so often in Columbia, it was just the color combination; and it really didn't hit me until I was driving through the Wal Mart parking lot. That's when I put it together.

I applaud your efforts, but if the Village Board has the chance to change them in the future, jump on it.

All American Packaging said...

Lake Elkhorn is a 37-acre (150,000 m2) reservoir located in the Owen Brown area of Columbia, Maryland. It is surrounded by a park and townhouses. The lake, which was built in 1974, is named for the Elkhorn branch of the Little Patuxent River[. Its main features are a small dam and a park with a picnic pavilion and a two-mile (3 km) walking path around the lake.