Second FASI Scholarship Awarded to Texas A & M’s Madeline Hunter

The Foundation for the Advancement of the Sign Industry (FASI) has awarded its second $1,000 scholarship to a college student who is pursuing sign-related studies. Madeline Hunter, who is in her first year as a Master of Urban Planning student, will assist Dr. Dawn Jourdan, Executive Associate Dean of the school’s College of Architecture, in researching the sign-code development process. Hunter will interview planners nationwide about their creation and revision of sign codes.

FASI previously awarded a scholarship to Stephanie Onwenu, a junior at Michigan State University. FASI is offering these scholarships to member universities of the Academic Advisory Council for Signage Research and Education.   

FASI Awards First Collegiate Scholarship to Michigan State Student

The Foundation for the Advancement of the Sign Industry (FASI) has awarded the first of what it hopes will be numerous scholarships to collegiate members of the Academic Advisory Council for Signage Research and Education (AACSRE). Stephanie Onwenu, a junior in the Landscape Architecture program in the School of Planning, Design and Construction, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University (MSU), has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship.

Dr. Pat Crawford, Associate Director of Planning Design & Construction at MSU stated, “Stephanie is part of the research team exploring perceptions of on-premise signage in urban streetscape environments using the IBM VAS software. She will also be exploring, first hand, urban signage in Spain, the United Kingdom and Italy during her study abroad in March and April 2017.”

In a letter to FASI, Stephanie wrote, “This opportunity will allow me to compare and contrast the various ways and forms that signage is manipulated around the world. Following on into the next school year, I plan to begin my Masters in Environmental Design [MED] graduate courses through the dual-degree program here at MSU. For my area of study, I plan to include an element of focus on signage in urban designed spaces.”

Wade Swormstedt, FASI’s executive director, said, “FASI is very proud to assist in the education of college students with an interest in signage. FASI hopes to announce many more of these scholarships throughout the year. FASI believes such scholarships support the groundwork laid by the National Signage Research & Education Conferences [NSREC] sponsored by The Signage Foundation.”

FASI (www.fasi.org) is dedicated to serving as a resource for the on-premise sign industry, and a clearinghouse of information for and about on-premise signs. FASI strives to proclaim the societal benefits of on-premise signage, and to support the efforts of on-premise sign organizations, including associations, universities, trade publications and end-user groups. 

Will GPS Make Signs Obsolete?

In 2008, a satellite-navigation specialist, Colin Beatty, presented a 27-slide PowerPoint presentation to the Sign Design Society, England’s leading environmental graphic design association. He asked the rhetorical question in his title:.  “Could personal navigation systems herald the demise of much fixed signage?”

In a column published in The Slate, author Julia Turner explores this question by interviewing both GPS-oriented companies and wayfinding-sign designers, including Craig Berger from the Society of Environmental Graphic Designers. Craig also serves on the board of the Academic Advisory Council for Signage Research and Education (AACSRE). To read the full article, go to http://www.slate.com/articles/life/signs/2010/03/a_world_without_signs.html

FASI Executive Director Wade Swormstedt Named AACSRE “Friend”

FASI Executive Director Wade Swormstedt has been named a “Friend of AACSRE” (The Academic Advisory Council for Signage Research & Education). The AACSRE Board of Directors includes 13 representatives from its university members. In addition, AACSRE appoints “Friends” to serve in an advisory capacity.

In a press release, AACSRE stated, “With the interdisciplinary nature of the field of signage study, AACSRE often looks to professional knowledge leaders for inspiration relating to emerging issues and ‘hot topics’. Given the importance of this knowledge, as well as the interest of these professionals in engaging, AACSRE created a special category of membership. These individuals, recruited in the same fashion as their academic counterparts, are identified by the Executive Board and, after consideration by the full membership, are invited to become a Friend of AACSRE. Wade Swormstedt and researcher Jennifer Klena have been appointed as Friends, and both participated in the Fall 2016 AACSRE Board meeting held October 13 at Gemini Inc. (Cannon Falls, MN).”

 

 

Reed v. Gilbert Session at APA Convention Attracts 500 People

The following article was written by FASI Board Member Alan Weinstein, who participated in the American Planning Association session.

The American Planning Association (APA) recently announced attendance figures for sessions at its annual National Conference held this past April in Phoenix, Arizona.  The session that focused on the Supreme Court’s June 2015 ruling on sign regulations, Reed v. Town of Gilbert, AZ.  organized by ISA’s James Carpentier, ranked #4 in attendance out of 170 sessions, and drew nearly 500 attendees.

James worked with the APA Arizona Chapter Host Committee to have the session proposal submitted on behalf of the Host Committee, which helped to ensure the session would be accepted.  The session, which James moderated, featured four speakers:

  • Mark White Esq., Principal in White & Smith, LLC, a law firm in Lee’s Summit, Missouri;

  • Wendy Moeller, Principal in Compass Point Planning, a planning consulting firm in Blue Ash, Ohio;

  • Professor Alan C. Weinstein, a member of the FASI Board, holds a joint appointment in the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio;

  • and Karen Melby, Senior Planner for the City of Sparks, Nevada.

White led off the session with a review of the factual background of the Reed case and an analysis of the legal rules established by the case. He focused on Justice Thomas’ majority opinion that established that any regulation which, on its face, requires that government consider the content of a sign in order to determine its regulatory treatment, is content-based.

Next, Weinstein, who also serves on the Board of the Academic Advisory Council for Signage Research & Education, discussed how courts have been applying the Reed decision in challenges to sign regulations. Professor Weinstein noted that, after Reed, some courts have struck down, as content-based, regulations that had been found to be content-neutral before Reed.  He also noted that no court had yet applied Reed to regulations of commercial signs and, while most courts had ruled that Reed did not apply to regulations that distinguished between on-site and off-site signs, one federal district court had found such a regulation to be content-based under Reed.

Moeller, who also serves as a Trustee for The Signage Foundation, next discussed how local governments can revise their regulation of temporary, non-commercial signs to come into compliance with Reed. This is precisely the type of sign at issue in Reed, so, unquestionably, the case calls into doubt any content-based regulation of such signs. Moeller’s advice on this issue can be found in a recent APA publication she co-authored with Professor Weinstein: “Practice: Temporary Signs,” in the February 2016 issue of Zoning Practice.

The final speaker, Melby, discussed how the City of Sparks, Nevada, had recently adopted a content-neutral sign code. Her remarks focused not only on what the code contained, but also on the process the city had used to bring stakeholders together to reach consensus on the content-neutral approach.

The Academic Advisory Council for Signage Research and Education Launches

AACSRE News

The Academic Advisory Council for Signage Research and Education (AACSRE) has now posted its website, www.aacsre.org. It has announced its 17-member Board of Directors, which includes Chairperson Dawn Jourdan (University of Oklahoma) and Executive Director Patty Herbin.

Full list of Board members here. 

AACSRE will soon be producing an academic publication called the Interdisciplinary Journal of Signage and Wayfinding.

The new AACSRE logo was designed by Cece Wang, a joint Ph.D. student and research assistant at the University of Cincinnati who is working on healthcare service design and system design research.