Great signage always sets the stage
By Jeff Russ
“A good business sign is a sign of good business.” This ’40’s-era saying has always resonated with me because it takes into account the value a “good” sign brings to the equation.
Although a crummy business sign doesn’t always foretell bad business, craftsmanship counts. Good branding does matter.
Maybe a more modern version of this statement would be, “Good branding is a sign of a good brand.”
The central-Kentucky town of Cynthiana might have had this in mind when its leaders commis-sioned well-regarded Portuguese street-artist Sergio Odeith to create an oversized tribute to the popular TV series “The Walking Dead.”
The series’ creators, Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore, both hail from Cynthiana.
Odeith, a big fan of the series, has been creating large-scale murals since the 1990’s, and had worked on projects both internationally and in Kentucky before winning this assignment.
A consortium of benefactors, including Kentucky for Kentucky, the Harrison County Community Foundation, the Cynthiana Arts Council and even a GoFundMe campaign, teamed up to transform the 100 x 25-ft. side wall of the Rohs Opera House.
The Cynthiana Arts Council hopes this will be the first of many downtown murals.
Odeith began working in late June and was finished in time for the mural to become the center-piece of the city’s annual “Walking Dead Day” event, held on August 6 of this year.
Showing a bit of restraint, Odeith preferred to highlight the popular characters of Rick, Carl, Michonne and Daryl, rather than depict Zombies (called “walkers” on the show), in part because of the gruesome nature of the subject.
Not counting the dark background basecoat, Odeith used more than 70 cans of Mtn94 spray paint, but notes that the paints only hold up for 5-10 years. It won’t be too long before this creepy wall graphic turns into an actual “ghost” sign.
In the meantime, visitors have already arrived from as far away as Texas and California to see the tribute to their favorite show.
Attending the event this year, it occurred to me that the mural was the final piece Cynthiana needed to achieve critical mass with both the event and the brand. The mural creates the sense of place required to sustain such an event.
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