Iconic Signage Project
The Iconic Signage Project, a collaboration between the Arts Council of New Orleans and Broad Community Connections, created four new neon signs for businesses on Broad Street. Supported by a $25,000 grant from the NEA. The Iconic Signage Project is an arts-based economic development project that employed local artists to promote small businesses, tell their story, and create a glowing visual identity for Broad Street. One of Broad Street’s defining features is the eclectic nature of its architecture. The Iconic Signage Project creates a cohesive element among the buildings on Broad Street without imposing an artificial sense of unity on the corridor. Using neon lighting, the signs evoke some of the jazz-age and automobile-era heyday Broad Street enjoyed in the first half of the 20th century, and also visually depict the nature of the goods or services that each business provides. Businesses that participated in the project include: The GodBarber, a barber shop at 219 South Broad Street; F&F Botanica, a candle, incense, and spiritual supply shop at 801 North Broad Street; Calamari Trim Shop, an automobile, boat, and vehicle upholstery shop at 339 North Broad; and the Crescent School of Gaming and Bartending, located at 209 North Broad. The businesses were paired with artists —respectively—Jerry Therio, Candy Chang, Christian Stock, and Michael Cain, who met with the business owners to ensure that the signs were both creative as well as functional. We learned a lot about what it takes to make a great sign. To share that information and make it easier to produce unique signage throughout New Orleans, we created the DIY Guide to Iconic Signs. The guide is a resource for other neighborhood groups and businesses interested in creating their own iconic signs.