Dear Mr. Deatrick:
During its meeting of 20 May, the Commission reviewed the proposed concept for the District of Columbia Gateway signs designated for thirty-five (35) locations. The Commission felt that the designs for these signs, marking the entrances to the nation's capital city, should be more dignified, more discreet in size, and perhaps, fewer in number. The graphics on the face of the signs should also be reconsidered. The selection of typefaces was thought to be too casual and the representation of the District's logo, based on George Washington's family crest, is poorly executed. In addition, the signs should be fabricated with longer lasting materials than the proposed back-lit clear lexan polycarbonate sheets-which is all too easily marked and defaced. It was suggested that the shape of the surrounds supporting the aluminum framed signs, with its cast concrete pediment and two finial balls set on brick columns, creates a connotation that is more appropriate for a suburban development and inappropriate for the city's entrance signs. This is a project that should be very carefully designed, graphically as well as architecturally, as these signs will become the introductory image for all who enter the District. Perhaps this is an opportunity to engage a national design competition to generate a more creative and appropriate solution.
The Commission looks forward to further review of this project for the District Department of Transportation (DDOT). As always, the staff is available should you require assistance.
Frederick J. Lindstrom
District Department of Transportation
64 New York Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20002
cc: Muhammed Khalid, DDOT