The Signage Foundation Inc. becomes the Sign Research Foundation

The Sign Research Foundation (SRF), formerly The Signage Foundation, has a new name, look and website (www.signresearch.org), but it will continue its mission of empowering communities through research on vibrant and effective sign strategies, systems and codes.

“The new name better aligns with our mission of focusing on research into signs,” said Sapna Budev, SRF’s executive director. “We will expand our work in bringing together academicians, influencers and the industry to develop and promote stronger communities.”

The new website hosts the SRF’s latest sponsored research, and icons on the website facilitate finding research under myriad topics: best practices, design, illumination, legal, placemaking, safety, sign codes, value of signs and wayfinding. Additionally, all of the research is listed alphabetically by title. All of the peer-reviewed research is available free of charge.

SRF will host its annual National Signage Research & Education Conference (NSREC) April 19 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, and co-locate with the International Sign Association’s Sign Expo. Academicians will present current research, SRF’s research projects for 2017 will be outlined. This year’s NSREC will focus on the future of signage and anticipate how signs must adapt to function in the cities of the future.

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. 

FASI Board Member Duane Laska Honored with Maury Ely Award

Duane Laska, who serves on the FASI Board of Directors as treasurer, has been honored with the Illinois Sign Assn.’s Maury Ely Lifetime Achievement Award, an honor which his late father, Vic, was given in 1987. The award is presented annually to an individual who has made meaningful and meritorious contributions to both the association and the industry.

Laska is the president/owner of North Shore Sign Co. (Libertyville, IL), and he has also served Libertyville with two terms as its mayor. Laska’s extensive service to the sign industry includes having served the International Sign Association as its chairman in 2012 and on its Executive Committee for four years.

He is currently serving as chairman of The Signage Foundation Inc. He has also served the research organization as chairman of the program committee and chairman of the planning committee for the annual National Signage Research & Education Conference (NSREC). Laska initiated and championed the Foundation’s internship program and sponsored the first internship in 2010. He has also served in leadership positions with World Sign Associates (WSA).

“Duane is a man of consummate integrity and dedication to the sign industry,” said Wade Swormstedt, FASI’s Executive Director. “I’ve watched how Duane conducts himself when organizational conflicts arise, and I’ve always been impressed by his common sense and grace under pressure. More recently, I’ve been honored to have the opportunity to work directly with him.”

American Sign Museum Initiates Sign Restoration Compilation

The American Sign Museum (ASM) (www.americansignmuseum.org) has been compiling information about signage-restoration projects throughout North America for approximately a year. ASM Founder Tod Swormstedt touched on these initial efforts at the National Signage Research & Education Conference held at the University of Oklahoma on October 10-12, 2015. Future possibilities include a group and/or event devoted to sign restoration. Lisa Peterson, the marketing manager at Federal Heath, a 115-year-old sign company headquartered in Oceanside, California, wrote about this on LinkedIn. To read her post, go to https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/putting-out-sos-save-old-signs-lisa-peterson?trk=eml-b2_content_ecosystem_digest-network_publishes-49-null&midToken=AQEugkdwuhaetw&fromEmail=fromEmail&ut=2z-rvIuuhfE7g1