Gateway Sign Study

Preliminary Results
City of Cedar Rapids
Purpose
źUnderstand what respondents feel is important to portray
to residents and visitors through a welcome sign

źDetermine which materials and styles appeal to
respondents

źGather input on which type of signs people liked most
and why

źIdentify patterns among the top five favored photos

Methodology
ź Web-based survey
ź Respondent profile:
ź Linn County and surrounding areas
ź 18 years and older
ź Survey was launched on December 1 and remained open
until December 19
ź Total completes = 510
Almost two-thirds came from Cedar Rapids.
1%
2%
5%
10%
19%
63%
Robins
Hiawatha
Other Linn County City
Marion
Outside of Linn County
Cedar Rapids
City of Residence
n=510
S1. In which city do you reside?
2%
13%
16%
29%
40%
Downtown
Northwest side
Southwest side
Southeast side
Northeast side
Area of Cedar Rapids
n=321
S2. Which of the follow best describes where you live?
All quadrants represented.
n=510
S4. Are you.?
Male
43%
Female
57%
Gender
57% female
43% male
1%
8%
20%
26%
22%
22%
Prefer not to answer
65 or older
55-64
45-55
35-44
18-34
Age
n=510
S5. What is your current age?
Good representation from all age groups.
1%
3%
20%
8%
40%
12%
14%
3%
Prefer not to answer
PhD
Graduate school degree
Some graduate school
Four-year college degree
Two-year college or technical school degree
Some college or technical school
High school graduate
Level of Education
n=510
S5. What was the last level of education that you completed?
Sample is well educated.
3%
1%
2%
3%
6%
9%
76%
Prefer not to answer
Seeking employment
Student
Stay-at-home parent/homemaker
Employed part-time
Retired
Employed full-time
Employment Status
n=510
S7. Which of the following best describes your current employment situation?
Over three-fourths employed full-time.
13%
19%
15%
15%
15%
12%
9%
2%
Prefer not to answer
$125,000 or more
$100,000 to $124,999
$80,000 to $99,999
$60,000 to $79,999
$40,000 to $59,999
$20,000 to $39,999
Less than $20,000
Employment Status
n=510
S8. Which of the following categories best describes your annual household income before taxes?
Representation from all income levels.
Findings
3%
3%
3%
4%
4%
6%
7%
8%
10%
12%
15%
18%
Dirty
Hard working
Conservative
Small town
Boring
Good/great place to live
Family-friendly
Friendly
2008 flood
Blue collar
Smells
Industrial
Perceptions People have about Cedar Rapids
n=510
Q1. What is the main perception people have about Cedar Rapids? [OE]
Industrial, smelly and blue-collar were top perceptions,
but there was no consensus.
2%
7%
7%
9%
9%
10%
11%
11%
12%
13%
14%
Thriving
Safe
Diverse
Welcoming
Clean
Great place to live
Family-friendly
Virbrant city
Cultural
Progressive/Innovative
Friendly
Image that Should be Portrayed
n=510
Q2. What image would you want portrayed to residents and visitors coming to Cedar Rapids? [OE]
Friendly, progressive and cultural were preferred
messages, but there was not a consensus.
3%
5%
6%
6%
7%
16%
16%
17%
25%
Environmental friendly
Brick
LED
Steel
Wood
Metal
Colorful
Lighted
Stone
Materials
n=510
Q3. Imagine you are driving into Cedar Rapids and you see a sign welcoming residents and visitors to the
city. What does it look like? Please be specific, noting the style and materials used. [OE]
A quarter of respondents mentioned the sign
should include stone.
4%
5%
8%
11%
13%
Grant Wood
Classic
River scene
Five Seasons
Modern
Style, Theme or Message
n=510
Q3. Imagine you are driving into Cedar Rapids and you see a sign welcoming residents and visitors to the
city. What does it look like? Please be specific, noting the style and materials used. [OE]

There was less agreement about the VLJQ¶V
theme, style or message.

n=510
Q4. There are many things to take into consideration when designing a sign. Please rate how important you
believe each of the following to be for a welcome sign, where 1 is not at all important and 5 is very important.
Readability from the road is most important.
4.19
4.28
4.47
4.57
4.59
4.87
1 2 3 4 5
Materials
Colors
Style
Size
Lighting
Readable from road
Importance
n=510
Q15. Here are your top choices from the previous screens. Which of these signs are your top five favorites?
Please rank the signs from 1 to 5, where 1 is most preferred and 5 is least preferred. [RANKING]
Dodge City was the preferred sign.
n=510
Q15. Here are your top choices from the previous screens. Which of these signs are your top five favorites?
Please rank the signs from 1 to 5, where 1 is most preferred and 5 is least preferred. [RANKING]
Evanston was a close second.
n=510
Q15. Here are your top choices from the previous screens. Which of these signs are your top five favorites?
Please rank the signs from 1 to 5, where 1 is most preferred and 5 is least preferred. [RANKING]
Barrie came in third.
n=510
Q15. Here are your top choices from the previous screens. Which of these signs are your top five favorites?
Please rank the signs from 1 to 5, where 1 is most preferred and 5 is least preferred. [RANKING]
Bella Villaggio came in fourth.
n=510
Q15. Here are your top choices from the previous screens. Which of these signs are your top five favorites?
Please rank the signs from 1 to 5, where 1 is most preferred and 5 is least preferred. [RANKING]
In fifth place, was the Iowa City sign.
n=510
Q16. What is it about each of the signs that led you to rank them in the following order?
Please be as specific as possible. [OE]
Dodge City's sign is eye-catching, easy-to-read
and unique to the city.
‡Eye-catching
‡"Attention getting image recalling
city's past. Readability. Great
sculptural design."
‡Easy-to-read
‡³Brilliant concept... the name says
it all-very easy to read, and
beautiful."
‡Representative of city
‡"Distinctive and tells you a LOT
about Dodge City in a glance."
‡Unique
‡"Unusual.... eye catching....truly
American in design....offers a hint
as to the history of the area....looks
like something more than 'just a
sign'."
n=510
Q16. What is it about each of the signs that led you to rank them in the following order?
Please be as specific as possible. [OE]
Evanston's sign offers stone, substantial size, nice
landscaping and a natural setting.
‡Stone
‡"I like the type of stone used, and
the large size. The landscaping is
nice, and the thing on the top adds
interest. Looks modern & classy
yet still homey."
‡Size
‡³Large sign - brick - like the
archway ."
‡"Mass and scale are nice."
‡Landscaping
‡"It's big and prominent. It's also
modern without being too funky. I
also really like the landscaping. I
would think that Evanston is a
trendy town."
‡Natural
‡"Natural and strong. Modern and
stylish, but made of natural
materials so still looks
representative of the Midwest."
n=510
Q16. What is it about each of the signs that led you to rank them in the following order?
Please be as specific as possible. [OE]
Color, size and uniqueness define Barrie's sign.
‡Colorful
‡"I like the innovative/modern look
and feel along with the colorful
plants/wildlife."
‡Easy-to-read
‡³Easy to read going 75."
‡Size
‡"Large easy to read letters, font
flows."
‡Unique
‡"This one just reaches out a grabs
you by the eyes - the flowers must
be a great supplement to the visual
impact."
‡"The design is interesting & not
cookie cutter. Great colors & use of
natural plants."
n=510
Q16. What is it about each of the signs that led you to rank them in the following order?
Please be as specific as possible. [OE]
Bella Villaggio offers a classic, clean
and modern option.
‡Classic
‡"Classy looking, like the urns that
can be planted through out the year
giving color and depth to the sign."
‡"Elegance, simplicity, harmony,
and a nod to the culture of the
community."
‡Clean
‡"Clean lines in conjunction with a
font that has a bit of flair but still
easy to read set off by simple
landscaping makes for a nice
understated sign."
‡Font
‡"Love font, clean lines, simple yet
chic landscape."
‡"I love the script / font used on this
sign and that the lettering appears
to be metal."
n=510
Q16. What is it about each of the signs that led you to rank them in the following order?
Please be as specific as possible. [OE]
Iowa City demonstrates the importance of lighting.
‡Simple
‡"Simplicity, low maintenance,
landscaping doesn't draw attention
away from signage."
‡Lights
‡"The back lighting on the letters
makes them easy to read, day or
night and the warmth of the light is
subtly welcoming."
‡Easy-to-read
‡"Easy to read, modern, yet not out
of place for its surroundings, and
the colored lighting adds a warmth."
‡Stone
‡"Very classy sign with the nice
stone and large dark lettering. Love
the back-lighting."
Conclusions
źMessage to portray to residents and visitors through
a welcome sign
źConvey to residents and visitors that Cedar Rapids is a friendly,
progressive and cultural city.
źAppealing materials and styles
źStone
źLighting
źModern
źSize - readable from road
źFavorite signs to use as guiding examples
źDodge City
źEvanston
źBarrie
źBella Villaggio
źIowa City

Conclusions
źReasons signs are preferred/patterns among favored
photos
źCommon material elements of top five signs:
źEye-catching
źEasy-to-read
źColorful
źLandscaped
źLarge in size
źLighted
źBrick/stone
źCommon message elements of top five signs:
źUnique to city
źRepresentative of city

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