Potsdam town sign contest finalists now on display at Chamber of Commerce
Friday, July 26, 2013 - 6:46 am

By CRAIG FREILICH

POTSDAM – Three designs have been chosen as finalists in the Chamber of Commerce’s “Design the Sign” contest.

The chamber received about dozen entries for the design of signs to replace the five that announce the village to people coming in by way of U.S. Rt. 11 north and south, State Rt. 56 north and south, and State Rt. 11B from the east.

The entries were on display during the Potsdam Summer Festival so that people could comment on their favorites.

The designs of the three finalists can now be seen at the chamber office at 24 Market Street as their Town and Gown Committee gets closer to choosing a winner.

“People should really be looking at the design, and not the mottos or the colors,” said chamber executive director Marylee Ballou,

Those details will be decided separately, she said. The mottos under consideration include the one used now, “The Educational and Cultural Center of Northern New York,” along with “Honoring our heritage...while creating our future,” “Home of the Raquette River,” “Education, Recreation, Culture,” “Home of the Arts,” “Community, Commerce, Education,” and “Where Culture and Education Thrive.”

The artists’ names are not included with the samples, to minimize any personal considerations.

The winner’s prize will be $100 in Potsdam Chamber gift certificates, the benefit of publicity about the winning design, and an invitation to the unveiling.

“About a dozen unique designs were submitted. Some people turned in multiple entries, with different color schemes, for instance. They came from a variety of people – local citizens, college art students, to people who don’t even live in Potsdam,” including some professionals.

People may take a look at the finalists’ entries at the chamber office at 24 Market St., and make comments on the designs there or mail them in, or email them to Potsdam@slic.com.

The chamber’s Town and Gown Committee will review the comments they’ve received and the finalists’ designs before making their decision in a few weeks.

Part of the decision making could include consultation with Great Northern Printing, which will make the signs, to be sure a design is practical and can be accommodated within the budget.

The chamber has budgeted $5,000 for each of the five signs, including the structure, which could include some masonry, Ballou said.

She said the goal right now is to have two of the signs put up by the end of the year and the rest in the spring.