Roswell Gateway Public Art
5 gateway welcome signs around the City of Roswell, NM.
Our goal was simple, hold true to the captivating UFO crash site of 1947. We used three themes to represent each main entrance to Roswell: cow being sucked up, our suspended sign, and of course the famous crash site into the sing itself. These signs have been an intricate part of branding the City of Roswell, through tourism and were recently been featured in NY Times Magazine.
A Town That Embraces The Strange and Wonderful.
In 1947, the U.S. Army Air Force released a press release announcing they recovered a “flying disc” from a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico. More than 70 years later, speculation on what happened and what this flying disc was has captured the imagination of the town and UFO enthusiasts around the world. The incident remains a defining aspect of the town’s identity: boasting a UFO museum, flying saucer-themed fast-food restaurants, and alien-themed stores.
Roswell, New Mexico is truly a remarkable town with a unique identity. When we were commissioned to create entry signs for the city we knew this would be a fun, rewarding project.
The Ideas that Went Into Roswell’s Entry Signs.
We begin every project with extensive research and brainstorming sessions on what elements we should include in the landmark’s design. When it came to these entry signs, we naturally had to include UFO concepts in the mix. Additionally, we learned the area is known for its agricultural output of pecans and cattle.
We designed 3 themes for every entry into Roswell:
- The 1947 UFO Crash
- A flying saucer suspended in mid-air
- The town’s agricultural components
Overcoming Design and Construction Obstacles.
One of the biggest challenges we overcame was related to permitting and zoning. We had to work with private and state land departments to coordinate and abide by zoning regulations. This was especially important since we were installing 5 entry signs in Roswell’s main entrances.
Roswell also endures a range of weather conditions that could damage structures without proper consideration. EG Structural took this into account and designed our entry signs to withstand extreme heat, cold, and high winds. Also, we encased the sign’s LED lights in aluminum to prevent its solar-powered batteries from overheating.
Additionally, we also encouraged public feedback. EG Structural and city officials held several town meetings to give residents the chance to voice their feedback on the sign’s design. Through this, we learned that we had to keep the message simple and direct. After all, these signs weren’t just to attract tourists but to recognize the town’s individuality.
What These Welcome Signs Achieve for Roswell
Since installing these welcome signs, the town has been able to grab the attention of travelers and locals alike. They’re fun-spirited and resonate with people’s natural curiosity for the unknown. They invoke a sense of wonder and invite travelers to experience everything the town has to offer.
Our signs’ success is a perfect example of how public art is critical to a community’s identity. Their popularity has also led to nationwide recognition by being featured in several publications, television advertisements, and feature films. They’ve been able to captivate passersby and have become a prominent photo opportunity for their social media. Creatively speaking, this is the experience that we dream of capturing, a sense of appreciation for a piece, and the desire to engage with the art.