Signs done right go a long ways | RecordCourier.com

Signs done right go a long ways

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind.

Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?"

In 1970, the Five Man Electrical Band's song touched a nerve, launching it to No. 1.

In the intervening decades, we've gone back and forth on the value of signs.

Billboards proliferated and then were banned. In Carson Valley, billboards were prohibited by county ordinance.

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According to the Oct. 29, 1988, edition of The Record-Courier it was a big shock 30 years ago when the Washoe Tribe rented space out for them on their lands.

Signs are the oldest form of mass communication.

You'd think in a world where most information is digital, and maps are available on people's phones, that signs would no longer be necessary.

But that's not even close to true. This week, members of the town boards of Genoa, Gardnerville and Minden heard presentations from the Carson Valley Visitors Authority on wayfinding, which is a fancy word for signs that say where things are.

There are places with the population of Carson Valley that are harder to navigate, but not many. It's not just the fact that place names like Minden and Gardnerville aren't exactly relevant to where those places actually are.

Pity the poor visitor looking for something in Minden, which allegedly stretches to Indian Hills, or Gardnerville which includes Holbrook Junction, but not really.

Tasteful, informative signs can be helpful in providing valuable information to residents and visitors alike.