Branding for Independent Downtown Businesses

The December 2017 issue of the Academic Advisory Council for Signage Research and Education’s (AACSRE) Interdisciplinary Journal of Signage and Wayfinding includes an article entitled “Providing brand guidance for independent businesses: A supplement to District Signage Standards.” The article was written by two Iowa State professors, Lisa Fontaine (Department of Graphic Design) and Susan L. Bradbury (Department of Regional & Community Planning). The article discusses the need for small, independent retailers to brand their stores in downtown environments, in lieu of competition from large franchises seen in suburban malls and shopping centers. In addition, the article discusses how cities’ sign regulations can be an additional hindrance. Thus, the article suggest ways to rectify this. You can read the entire article at


Photo by Mike Wilson on Unsplash

Wade Swormstedt

Wade Swormstedt

Wade is the former Executive Director of the Foundation for the Advancement of the Sign Industry and the former Editor and Publisher of Signs of the Times magazine.

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Posted in Academic Advisory Council for Signage Research and Education, Sign Codes, Signs' Advertising Value, Visibility and Legibility.