A giant silver “D” welcoming visitors to town? Or how about a sculpture-style sign of the city’s name with playground swings built into the “Os” in “Dunwoody”?
Those are among the ideas in a plan for welcome markers to the city and more modest wayfinding signs that will direct visitors or tell people how far it is to get to, say, MARTA.
The Dunwoody City Council approved a “gateway and wayfinding” plan unanimously Dec. 14, but will have to come back to vote on a contract for the plan with costs and specifics in January. There is no overall price estimate because the city doesn’t know which signs it will use or how many.
There are, however, some estimates for the markers — anywhere from $51,857 to $106,525 for the 18-foot-tall big “D” to $224,450 for the 12-foot-tall “O” swing structure. Depending on materials and designs selected by the city, a pedestrian sign could run anywhere from $387 to $1,310, and a sign oriented for vehicle drivers could run $1,760 to $6,029. Some designs have metal “Dunwoody” toppers as an option. Others don’t.
The big “D” may not make it into the council’s final plan, once decisions are made on what to include.
“I’m not a fan of the single ‘D,’” said Councilmember John Heneghan. But Councilmember Stacy Harris said she liked it.
It would be strategically placed, said Michael Starling, director of economic development.
“You can’t just take a big ‘D’ and put it on the side of the road,” he said.
The plan also proposes monument signs for the city limits that consist of “Dunwoody” spelled out in illuminated metal letters attached to an 18-foot-long stone column that could be set upright or placed on the ground, where one illustration suggests it could double as a bench.
A showpiece of the plan is the Dunwoody structure with the “O” swings.
The top of it is a latticework of words that, when the sun shines through, spells out “Everything will be OK” in ground shadows.
That slogan is an unofficial city motto adopted from a famous mural that long stood at the Spruill Center for the Arts’s gallery on Ashford-Dunwoody Road. Earlier this year, mural creator Jason Scott Kofke got into a copyright dispute with the center about using his design as yard signs for a pandemic fundraiser. The dispute was settled, but later the center announced the “Everything Will Be OK” mural would be relocated to Brook Run Park and its old gallery site instead hosting a rotating art installation display.
The swing structure would have LED lights and the color can be changed.
Discover Dunwoody, the city’s convention and visitors bureau, paid for the conceptual study. The city will pay for the signs.
The CVB completed a strategic plan in 2018 and decided to implement a welcome and sign system for Dunwoody.
In 2019, they pulled together a working group of their board and city staff to work with design firm TSW of Atlanta.
The designs include a primary and secondary gateway sign package, pedestrian and vehicular directional signs, and two placemaking signs that brand Dunwoody.
City staff members have identified the following priority for implementation: the gateway sign program throughout the city; pedestrian directional signs in Perimeter Center and other commercial districts; and vehicular directional signs throughout the city.