To convey the vibrancy of its advancing community, the Town of Cochrane municipality in Alberta, Canada wanted to replace 15-year-old wooden signs that were demolished in 2010. Laurie Drukier, director of communications for the Town of Cochrane sought to implement a community signage and wayfinding program that would incorporate a new visual identity.
The town’s residents were included in the selection of the final sign design and invited to an open house where they viewed design options and voted for the one they felt best reflected the design criteria.The municipality also made the designs available for online voting on its website for those who could not attend.
The design that was selected and implemented depicts Cochrane’s western heritage and values while incorporating contemporary elements like the visually striking Electronic Message Centers (EMCs) from Optec Displays, Inc., that are included in two flagship signs in the center of town.
The two, two-sided EMC displays, which became operational January 2016, are elevated on a six-foot high brick monument base, and framed with a black metal and wooden inlay structure with the town logo prominently located on top of the horizontal frame. Four Infinity 16mm LED displays from Optec Displays (two sets back-to-back at two locations) were selected with RGB 112 X 160 Matrix delivering clear resolution from the advanced LED performance. Each display has a viewing area of 5′ 10 9/16″ x 8′ 4 13/16″ with a cabinet size of 6′ 3 11/16″ x 8′ 9 7/8″ x 7 7/8.”
The EMC displays are programmed by the municipality to communicate meetings, events and service announcements for the town, non-profit organizations and community groups. Outdoor LED signs are advantageous for the flexibility and ease of communicating real-time information such as weather advisories and making adjustments to announcements such as date, time or location changes for meetings and events. No paid advertising is included in the static messages that rotate, remaining visible for six-seconds at a time during daylight hours. The municipality implemented a dark time where the signs are turned off from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. and elected not to include video to be respectful of the serenity of the community.
The EMCs are a part of a family of complementary signage that includes four “Welcome to Cochrane” signs marking the gateways into the community, as well as wayfinding and lamp post signs that create a cognitive map guiding visitors to their destinations.
“These signs are exactly what our community needed. The easy-to-read messages displayed on the EMCs keep our residents informed of events in the Cochrane area while also being easy-to-program for our municipality staff members,” said Drukier. “We have been very pleased with their performance and the community’s favorable response to them.”
Peter Stanley, sales director at Landmark Sign, was pleased with the selection of Optec Displays for the critical EMC component that brought the long-awaited signs to life. “Optec Displays went above and beyond to make sure the Infinity software was installed correctly and was instrumental in working with our team on the wireless communication programming and use,” said Stanley.