BY DAVE BLANK
The signs are starting to pop up around the area! Have you seen them? It will now be easier than ever for visitors, as well as residents, to find their way around the greater Racine area thanks to the distinctive wayfinding signs that are now being installed.
For years, there’s been discussion of a need for a wayfinding system for the Racine area. The signs for North Beach were hidden behind trees and people approaching the lakefront from Highway 20 often thought that they were in downtown Racine several times before they actually arrived there.
The need for wayfinding was mentioned in Real Racine’s 2012 Strategic Plan. The city also knew that it was needed. Finally, in the fall of 2015 a group of representatives from municipalities, attractions, parks, historic districts, athletic teams, neighborhood groups, and Real Racine met with Corbin Designs from Traverse City, Michigan, one of the foremost wayfinding companies in the country. They had been selected using an RFQ (request for qualifications) process.
To begin with we discussed what types of things could be signed and what could not be signed based on the Wisconsin Department of Transportation guidelines. The style of the signs and their exact placement also had to be agreed upon. We decided to go with a Frank Lloyd Wright theme. Corbin has had years of experience working on projects across the country and were very helpful. They knew the color combinations that would work best, the size of lettering that would be most visible, the best placement of each sign in relation to other signs and the number of sites that could be listed on a single sign. It sounds simple, but it’s certainly not.
Real Racine partnered with the City of Racine on the project and we are very excited to see it come to fruition. We hope to extend it west of Interstate 94 within the next couple of years.
Welcome to the new director of community engagement
Denise Roberts McKee has been named to fill the newly created position of director of community engagement. She will focus on community outreach and strategic partnerships.
In her role, McKee will assist Racine County municipalities, governmental agencies and public/private/non-profit organizations with the development and execution of strategic plans, initiatives, programs and events.
The objective of the new position is to enable Real Racine to be an ongoing and trusted strategic partner throughout Racine County, with the goal of engaging new visitors to the area as well as increasing awareness and consideration among current residents.
“I am very excited for this opportunity” McKee said. “I have been a long-time advocate of this area and am pleased I’ll be able to utilize my extensive experience working with organizations to help surface their stories and develop strategic approaches to their programs and events.”
As an author & speaker, Denise brings her years of experience working with leading brands to conferences and seminars worldwide. The Online Marketing Institute named Denise as one of their Top 40 Digital Strategists in Marketing. Her recent book “The Electric Campfire: A Marketer’s Guide to Documentary Storytelling” provides an in-depth look at documentary storytelling strategies for content development and marketing.
Dave Blank is the president/CEO of Real Racine (Racine County Convention & Visitors Bureau).