Local designer working to develop universal civic symbols

    Signs of innovation can be seen all over Mecklenburg County.

    It was recently announced by Queens University of Charlotte assistant professor Mike Wirth that he and the local chapter of the the American Institute of Graphic Arts were busy developing civic symbols which area organizations could use free of charge, the Charlotte Observer reported. Icons depicting a variety of objects may be used to direct residents toward attractions such as microbreweries, dog parks, farms, bike paths and running trails – all without the use of word-heavy signage.

    Wirth gave a presentation on his latest project during the May 30 workshop and marathon for civic symbol design at the university. In his speech, he described the inception of the undertaking – which is gaining national attention – saying the idea came about when he began looking for ways to make the metropolitan area more approachable to both residents and tourists.

    "What could we do to make our city more accessible?" Wirth said, according to the news source. "What can we show visitors that we're not showing them? Through these icons, you can raise those communities that are not as visible and put them in sight through a standardized language."

    With the incorporation of more of these civic symbols, Wirth said Charlotte may see significant improvement due to an influx of foreign visitors looking to explore the Tar Heel State's largest city. 

    However, not just local business owners stand to benefit. Charlotte real estate agents may see additional increases in buyer activity and the area housing market may continue to bolster as more consumers submit purchase offers in hopes of living in the vibrant setting.

    Between the years of 2010 and 2012, Charlotte's population reportedly increased more than 5 percent, the U.S. Census Bureau noted. Upticks in all age groups was noted, showing more people are moving to the area and staying here for extended periods of time.

    As number continue to grow, Wirth's proposed project may become more and more important to the city's infrastructure and cultural diversity.

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