Welcome Signs Show How Many Places Are Out of Touch

April 24, 2017

Welcome signs can play an important role in the marketing and branding of cities. They not only provide a sense of arrival but also communicate a welcome to travelers and can signal that the place is ready for them. They can also serve to convey the distinctive identity of the place and why it may be of interest to prospective visitors and new residents. One of the most famous of course is the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign which was erected on what was then the outskirts of The Strip in 1959.

CityLab has assembled a slideshow of some of his favorite welcome signs around the USA. I think that Mark must have quite a sense of humor. Some are funny, some interesting, but unfortunately, many of them reflect small towns that are totally out of touch with the needs and interests of prospective visitors and new residents.

At a time when places of all sizes are locked in competition for their economic well-being, I found myself looking at many of the signs and asking “who would care?” The signs reminded me that cities of all sizes in the next decade will have to work much harder at marketing themselves and developing a competitive identity than they have done in the past. Their audiences are becoming more discerning and demanding and their competitors are increasing and becoming more sophisticated. There are so many other choices.


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