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Whidbey Scenic Isle Way logo choices unveiled

Three options for signs that will mark the “Scenic Isle Way” of highway 20 and 525 were inspired by more than 50 ideas from community members. -
Three options for signs that will mark the “Scenic Isle Way” of highway 20 and 525 were inspired by more than 50 ideas from community members.
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Whidbey Island’s scenic byway, a stand-alone idyllic rarity, will soon be even more recognizable by its unique logo adorning signs placed along the long stretch of road.

A modest number of community members turned out Wednesday for the unveiling of three logo designs, the culmination of a process that whittled down a large pool of renderings to only a handful.

Drawing inspiration from more than 50 ideas submitted by community members in response to October’s “request for inspiration,” county representatives have worked closely with the scenic byway committee to move the project forward.

Otak, Inc., a Seattle-based planning and design company, was tasked with coordinating the logo and gateway designs, the latter a trio of gateway monuments that will be placed in the vicinity of Clinton, Keystone, and Deception Pass. Otak also analyzed the community input and initially broke down the ideas into variations of the 50 designs.

Mike Morton, Island County Public Works transportation planner and Corridor Management Plan project manager, said the steering committee met before the public open house commenced. Narrowing the design options to three, the group, a cross section of private citizens and agency officials, determined their favorite of the trio.

“There was one that the committee all agreed on,” Morton said. “But we’re still refining the colors and fonts from public input.”

The Regional Transportation Planning Organization — a group consisting of elected officials from local jurisdictions — will receive the committee’s recommendation in May and render a decision.

“They want to leave it up to the RTPO to make the final decision,” Morton said.

Wednesday’s open house gave residents an opportunity to view four logo designs, essentially three as two of the logos are similar, and five gateway options.

The Washington Department of Transportation designated state routes 20 and 525 as “scenic byways” in 1967, recognizing the uniqueness and significance of the rural passages.

As the lead agency for the Whidbey Scenic Isle Way, Island County was awarded a federal grant for the development of a byway logo to reinforce the identity of the scenic byway and gateway monuments to welcome visitors to the byway. Public involvement has been an integral part of the process.

“It’s been really fun,” said Mandi Roberts, project manager and Otak principal. “We were very happy with the public input we received. And the steering committee is citizen-based. That’s important.”

The byway logo signs will be installed along highways 20 and 525 on Whidbey Island.

The three gateway sculptures will consist of elements that visually tie them together, incorporating the byway logo and the use of certain materials.

Monuments will be carefully and sensitively designed to fit cohesively within each setting and to minimize impacts on the scenic landscape. Durability, maintainability, visibility, and public safety were also important considerations in the design.

Vertical and horizontal designs were displayed Wednesday. Roberts said the community members present tended to gravitate towards the latter.

Public comments are still being solicited by Otak and the county. Morton can be reached by phone at 679-7331 or by email at mikem@co.island.wa.us.

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