Uptown Signage Mixed Message

Is Uptown a fun, walkable neighborhood for frivolity and frolicking? Or is it a business-centric hub for getting deals done? That’s the split personality that the Uptown signage seems to indicate. A closer look:

On the one hand, there’s the Uptown Banner. The one pictured here is beneath the Katy Trail on Hall Street, between Turtle Creek Boulevard and Carlisle Street. Look at it: It’s like something you’d see advertising spray-can paintings at a cross between the Renaissance Faire and Burning Man. (I thought I remembered another instance of the banner on Bowen Street, but there isn’t one there.)
Now look at the Uptown Spikes, one of them at Pearl and McKinnon (left), the other at Pearl and Woodall Rodgers (right). They share the metal, stencil motif of the banner and have the same font, so you know they’re part of the same campaign. But the spikes’ size, shape, and standalone-ness represent severity and strength, where the banners are frilly and festive (“ooh, it’s like it’s rippling in the wind”). The spikes are like spears thrust into the ground (a la a Florida State Seminoles football pre-game, without the face paint), marking territory and meaning business.

In short, the two types of signage convey two emotions. Uptown Banner: “Whee!” Uptown Spike: “Grrr!”

I wish the Uptown Signage People picked one and stuck with it. I’m partial to the spikes. They look kinda cool at night when they’re lit up. Still pretty ’80s, but cool.

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Comments

15 responses to “Uptown Signage Mixed Message”

  1. amandacobra says:

    The “Uptown spikes” have always reminded me of the part in The Omen where the priest gets impaled by the falling cross. Which is, I’m sure, some sort of metaphor for the death of spirituality and ultimate soullessness of Uptown.

    I also question the choice of all caps Times New Roman italicized for the font choice on the first sign.

  2. JB says:

    Perhaps they should stencil “Uptown” on a large metallic douche to complete the trifecta.

  3. Gadfly says:

    amandacobra, you’re a showoff. Well anyway, they also could have kerned in the “T” closer to the “P”, so that it doesn’t look like 2 separate words. But overall the tracking looks pretty good, and all caps was a good call. A font with a thicker stroke would have been a better choice.

  4. JB says:

    Hmmm….. Bagged feminine hygienic device.

  5. Dallasite says:

    Regardless of what they look like, they were a waste of money.

  6. Patrick says:

    Way too much thought was given to this… I can’t say I’ve ever pondered the signs this way. I think they look nice!

  7. Brian says:

    In deep ellum we got freeway dots and some broken neon. Oh and the street signs that are almost extinct.

  8. Little Miss Haughty says:

    What do you expect with the create your own neighbourhood mentality running rampant in Dallas? The city truly has no idea. Rather than create areas like Victory Park, why not try to save some of Deep Ellum? Probably not enough money to be made by the developers or the mayor for that to happen.

  9. John M says:

    “Is Uptown a fun, walkable neighborhood for frivolity and frolicking? Or is it a business-centric hub for getting deals done?

    In short, the two types of signage convey two emotions. Uptown Banner: “Whee!” Uptown Spike: “Grrr!””

    Isn’t Uptown both and isn’t that a large part of it’s appeal? Personally I like the spikes better and there are two more of them but I don’t hate the other one but I don’t see why it has to chose one identity or the other. Yes a lot of serious business takes place here but so does a lot of fun, I don’t see a problem with reflecting both sides of Uptown in the signage.

    “What do you expect with the create your own neighbourhood mentality running rampant in Dallas? The city truly has no idea. Rather than create areas like Victory Park, why not try to save some of Deep Ellum? Probably not enough money to be made by the developers or the mayor for that to happen.”

    Uptown is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Dallas although the name is a relatively recent addition, added about 15 years ago. The signs now denote the boundaries of the Uptown PID, owners in the Uptown PID pay extra taxes for things like all the flowers and landscaping, extra police patrols, the trolley, etc. A lot of time and money go into making Uptown what it is paid for directly by it’s owners and I don’t see anything wrong with us taking some pride in it.

  10. Little Miss Haughty says:

    John M: Uptown is one of the oldest neighbourhoods..What part of Uptown? The part where Hotel ZaZa now sits? Why did so many of the older black settled homes (which had unique architectural qualities) have to be demolished in order for the “trendy”, new portion to appear. The answer is simple; economics (i.e greed). Having lived in Dallas for over 25 years, the moniker Uptown only arrived in the last decade and none of the diverse areas lumped into that title were known as that prior to the signage appearing.
    While parts of “Uptown” are appealing, it is the notion that many segments with a rich city history have been morphed into a “new” cookie cutter brand that is quite tiresome. Dallas HAS history and culture, however it is often too lazy (or greedy) to make do with what is here (with all the imperfections) and the city ends up sterilizing it with too many condo’s, valet parking and very little soul.

  11. Dirt Monkey says:

    This was really at the bottom of the creative think tank, wasn’t it?

  12. Scout0820 says:

    Funny, you can tell other parts of Dallas by the faint scent of urine.

  13. Puddin'Tane says:

    “Dallas HAS history and culture, however it is often too lazy (or greedy) to make do with what is here (with all the imperfections) and the city ends up sterilizing it with too many condo’s, valet parking and very little soul.”

    True dat.

  14. Murray says:

    I dont know, maybe we trap a goat and lock it up high to welcome visitors to the area. We can make sweaters later.

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