Amherst approves designs for new ‘wayfinding’ signs

Last modified: Wednesday, November 25, 2015

AMHERST — New signs intended to help people find their way to downtown landmarks and brighten the streetscape have been approved by the Select Board.

Board members Monday unanimously endorsed the final designs for the signs, which could be fabricated and installed in 2016 if money is available.

Each sign will depict a silhouette of Town Hall and other downtown buildings rendered in a shade of burned orange, set against the green backdrop of the Holyoke Range and a pale blue sky. The signs read “Amherst” or “Welcome to Amherst” in white letters, and some include the names of sites ranging from Town Hall to the Jones Library.

The designs were created by Mark Favermann of Boston-based Favermann Design, who is providing technical assistance for the project through a $10,000 grant from the Downtown Initiative Program of the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development.

Select Board member James Wald said the signs will help visitors to Amherst find museums, municipal buildings and other attractions.

“We’re very pleased with the conceptual design,” said Wald, who served on the Amherst Branding & Wayfinding Advisory Committee, which included town, business, University of Massachusetts and cultural officials.

Board member Constance Kruger said it is good that Amherst will finally have a consistent identity for its signs. “We’re overdue for this,” Kruger said.

Favermann said in a phone interview Tuesday that he took input from the advisory committee to make the signs less historic and more contemporary, and tried to make them less static.

“There’s an energy to them, a nice feeling to them,” Favermann said.

Favermann, who is also working with the town of Greenfield on a similar project, will continue to assist Amherst with the project’s budget and costs, and planning for where the signs should be located.

It is uncertain how soon the signs will be made and installed.

Senior Planner Jonathan Tucker said there is some remaining money for beginning production, but more may be needed.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at


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