By Andrew Stuckey
If you’ve seen the new Town of Osoyoos welcome signs and wondered if half the messaging didn’t get lost in the recent flooding, you’re not alone.
Town CAO Barry Romanko says the new signage’s colours also gave him pause when he got a first look at them over the long weekend.
“Quite frankly, it’s the first thing I noticed, but I didn’t get as upset as many other people got,” he said this afternoon. “I just said this needs to be addressed.
The signs came under intense scrutiny in a local Facebook group Wednesday evening, with many of those commenting wondering about the sign’s appearance and its lack of contrast.
The sign’s design — approved by a four-member committee in November 2017 — called for the Town’s branding to be imposed on a dark blue background “to maximize contrast for the full-coloured logo.”
That same dark blue was to be used for the “Canada’s Warmest Welcome” tagline on a light-coloured “natural materials” base.
That base was to draw its influence “from the warm desert colours and climate.”
Instead, the placed signage uses a dark cyan colour for both the background and tagline colouring. The base is also noticeably darker than what was portrayed in the design.
The colour change makes parts of the messaging difficult to read, the “so” in Osoyoos fading into the light blue background and the accompanying tagline all but invisible until a motorist is almost upon the sign.
Mr. Romanko said what appears to be changes to the design will be discussed with the contractor, Victoria-based Landmark Signs.
“What we’re doing is we’re waiting for the signs to go up and then we’re going to have a discussion with our contractor,” he said. “It’s one thing when you look at things on paper and approve a design. And then it’s another thing when they come in full life and practical use.
“We will be sitting down with our contractor and discussing the colour. It looked good on paper.”
All four signs are in place at various entries to the community — including atop Anarchist Mountain at the west-facing rest stop, on Hwy. 3 west of Osoyoos at 115 St and on Hwy. 97 north and south of the community.
The signs come at a cost of $146,276. Funding for the project comes from the provincial Resort Municipality Initiative program.
Landmark was one of seven companies bidding to replace the existing signage. Bids ranged in cost from $54,824.70 to $212,486.87.
“I see this as a process,” said Mr. Romanko. “We let this thing play out, we get the signs up and before we pay any money we ensure the product that we have is to our satisfaction and then we move on.”
Publisher’s Note: OsoyoosToday attempted to contact Landmark Signs. Our calls were not returned.