Pittsburgh Signage


It has been a recent topic of discussion for the city of Pittsburgh regarding the replacement of the Sprint banner sign on Mt. Washington overlooking the city. The media refers to the possible signage concepts as the Pittsburgh-Hollywood sign. However, this reference stirs up many mixed emotions for the citizens of Pittsburgh. How will the new sign be original? What benefits are there in replacing the Sprint banner sign? Does the new sign need to look like the iconic Hollywood landmark? Is it affordable? What materials will the new sign be made of? Is the new sign going to be energy efficient? It is important to note how the scenic view of Mt. Washington is a popular transitioning shot for local stations to show during broadcasts for local professional sporting events, concerts and news. Mt. Washington is home of the Pittsburgh Incline, which holds significant historical values for the city of Pittsburgh. The Bayer sign used to be in place of the current Sprint banner sign that is on top of Mt. Washington, but many citizens of Pittsburgh have expressed the new Sprint banner as an eyesore.


The proposed design of what the new sign should look like shows the culture and historical values of the city of Pittsburgh. Some historians question if Pittsburgh is still a Steel City. Steel is and always will be a key component of Pittsburgh’s culture and history. The gold backdrop of the sign embraces the three major sports teams: the Steelers, the Pirates and the Penguins. In order to keep up with the modern improvements of the city, the backdrop also functions as an eco-efficient digital screen. It can show graphics behind the brushed steel letters for the weather, fireworks and national holidays like Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, Fourth of July and other events to be remembered. The new sign’s design would require minimal excavation of the landscape of Mt. Washington and would provide minimal opportunity for trespassers to vandalize the signage.


Each letter of the new sign would be made from sheets of brushed stainless steel. It would have to be brushed in order to dull down the extreme reflection from the natural daylight in order to prevent it from being overly blinding. The back of each letter would have flood lighting shining against it in order to produce an “outer glow” effect. The backdrop display would be made of high resolution LED technology similar to digital billboards commonly seen along major highways.


The new sign would be powered by solar panels placed above or below the signage platform built within the hillside. It would require energy from the solar panels only when the sign would be turned on. However, if the interactive is not programmed to be turned on, spot lights can be turned on instead to provide back lighting for the lettering as an appearance of an “outer glow.” All lighting and display components would be ensured to comply to energy standards and be held to energy efficient regulations.

Completed Spring Semester 2017.

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