Wayfaring signs are designed to provide clear directions to ultimate destinations.
The Manteca City Council adopted a wayfaring sign design Tuesday night but nobody from staff to the promoter of the winning version understood what exactly was decided upon.
And Mayor Willie Weatherford - who came up on the losing end of the vote along with Councilwoman Debbie Moorhead - expects the staff will return with an updated version based on Tuesday’s vote.
“I was glad just to see that we got it moving forward,” Weatherford said of the signs that have been nearly four years in the making.
The council on a 3-2 vote opted to go with the branding logo for Manteca developed by the Manteca Convention & Visitors Bureau that features the slogan “Hook, Wine, & Sneakers” below stylized renderings of fish, wine and sports balls with electric colors. The slogan is designed to depict fishing, outdoors activities, and Bass Pro Shops, wine tasting, and recreation sports such as softball at Big League Dreams, soccer, and even BMX racing.
That logo would go on the front side along with points of interests and directional arrows. On the back side, at Councilman John Harris, suggestion, the council majority opted to instruct staff to place the Manteca Chamber of Commerce logo as well as the City of Manteca seal.
The confusion is exactly what CVB version the council approved: Was it one of the various designed on a display board adjacent to the two versions proposed by staff or was it the one the CVB provided that was in the council staff report?
Weatherford who is a former police chief said the colors in that sign - that included a healthy dose of background yellow - probably can’t be used as they conflict with standard colors for California adopted traffic signs such as those used to warn of stop signs ahead and whether there is a T-intersection or a standard intersection coming up.
CVB Executive Director Linda Abeldt said the example given to the council was simply to provide an alternative and wasn’t intended as a final design. She said she expected to see the Hook, Wine, & Sneakers logo on a blue, white and red background similar to the colors on the sign favored by Weatherford and Moorhead.
Some staff members were also concerned the name of the destinations - the main purpose of the signs in the first place - may not stand out as well using the background colors of the version presented by the CVB. The signs must be easily read by motorists traveling on city streets.
Moorhead said she preferred the red, white, and blue because it was consistent with City of Manteca colors that appear on the city seal and Manteca Transit buses. A few years ago the chamber, of which Moorhead is executive director, dropped its blue and white logo in favor of one that was red white and blue to reflect Manteca’s official colors. The version Moorhead and Weatherford favored aid not have the Hook, Wine, & Sneakers logo.
The background color of the sign may not be that big of a deal with the CVB that had a dozen board members sitting in the front row of Tuesday’s council meeting.
From the beginning, they have contended they want to promote a brand that can become ingrained in the minds of visitors whenever they think of Manteca. The CVB - after they devised a brand for community tourism and visitors - dropped using their own logo and simply went with the Manteca branding on all of their promotional materials.
The goal is to have any advertising, billboard, or information promoting tourism or visitors in Manteca to include the Hook, Wine, & Sneakers logo regardless of whether it is a business, an organization, or a government agency.
Staff had been ready to give a short presentation on their rationale for their sign designs but the mayor short-circuited it and instead went straight to asking council members their preference. After that a vote was taken.
The mayor noted that the discussion has already dragged on for four years and that it was time for the council to make a decision.
The $40,000 tab for the 44 signs will be covered by $200,000 in the Manteca Redevelopment Agency budget for signage.