Signs are something we encounter more often than we realize and they play a vital role in our ability to effectively navigate airports, office signs, road signs, and restroom signs. When you stop and think about significant images that have shaped American culture, there are some signs that have truly made a visual impact and stood the test of time. Most, having been made famous in films, are forever immortalized in our minds. Others are like treasured national landmarks. Take a walk down memory lane for just a moment to see how these signs have helped shape our point of view: Here are five iconic images that have done a brilliant job of sales and marketing through their aesthetic appeal and graphic design.
1. Route 66
Although Route 66 officially disappeared from US maps back in 1985, its iconic legacy still continues to stretch across the landscape of our minds. There have been numerous hit songs and famous films made that give a shout out to this 2,400-mile highway that once connected the eastern corridor of this country to the western one. No wonder it’s been nicknamed “The Main Street of America”. While much of Route 66 has become inaccessible, the fabulously famous Route 66 sign can still be seen gracing the wide open spaces along parts of New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas. For those of you who might be interested in being a part of its sentimental journey, you can actually own or adopt certain stretches of this decommissioned federal highway.
2. Las Vegas
Did you know this brightly lit beauty sits on the National Register of Historic Places? While it screams, “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada”, it’s actually located in the neighboring town of Paradise. This flamboyant sign was the brainchild of World War II Vet, Ted Rogich who had moved to Nevada and started a neon sign company called Western Neon Co. While Rogich appreciated the flashy signs of the city advertising casinos, hotels, and restaurants, he noticed that there wasn’t a sign in particular that advertised sin city itself. In 1959, he commissioned artist Betty Willis to sit down at the drawing board and design this femme fatale. Placing their bets that the city would love her imagery, they rolled the dice, presented the sign to the city, and all came out winners. Luck was indeed a lady that night and the rest is history.
The notoriously famous Hollywood Sign was erected in 1923 and still stands ready for her close up. This iconic sign has not only become a nod to the entertainment industry, but a real west coast phenomenon and must see tourist attraction. She belongs to the city of Los Angeles and sits perched on her pedestal in Griffith Park. It takes a lot of team work to keep her looking good too. This big name has required numerous facelifts over the years, and many celebrities have actually pitched in to help maintain her glamorous image. The quintessential Playboy himself, Hugh Hefner donated more than $900,000 just to protect the land surrounding the sign and keep it from being sold to developers. The sign itself actually became somewhat of a celebrity in 1973 when it was declared a Historical landmark.
4. Radio City Music Hall
The Radio City Music Hall Sign just seems to beg for attention. I guess it has to in a city whose lights are so bright, that its residents never sleep. When it comes to summoning the masses, this awe-inspiring sign certainly seems to get the job done. Radio City Music Hall welcomes millions of audience members into its halls each year. The stunning and sensational signage invites visitors to come inside from off 6th Avenue and get their kicks while watching the world famous Rockettes strut their stuff. If you’re lucky enough to visit New York City in December, you’re in for a real treat. Search high and low until you lock eyes with the Radio City Music Hall Sign then make a beeline for the door. You’ll be in for the treat of a lifetime as you witness the beauty and majesty of their Annual Christmas Spectacular. Radio City Music Hall: it’s simply a must see that everyone should have on their bucket list.
5. Pennsylvania’s LOVE Sign
Looks like the City known for brotherly love wanted to make sure everybody knew what they stood for! They went straight to the heart of the matter when they installed a reproduction of Robert Indiana’s LOVE Sculpture in the John F. Kennedy Plaza also known as Love Park. Located in Center City Philadelphia, this pop art image had been briefly removed and sold to the City of New York. That was until a local businessman bought it back and lovingly donated it to the city, putting it in its rightful place. This famous sign of LOVE has also become somewhat of an icon over the years, having had its image and likeness recreated on everything from T-shirts to jewelry and postage stamps.