Red Hat has removed the scaffolding to reveal its bold, red sign atop its new headquarters in downtown Raleigh, and, eh….oh dear. First of all, I’ll admit to being biased by saying that I liked the big grey schmoo that topped the building in the Progress Energy era. It not only gave the building some much needed asymmetry, but it also complemented the outlines of the taller buildings on Fayetteville Street, especially when viewed from the south.
The new, rectangular bright red facade atop the building is eye-catching, but only in its garish amount of bright red which stands in stark contrast to every physical structure in downtown Raleigh. It’s as if Red Hat got a waiver on the city’s unusually harsh sign ordinance. I’m sure the CityGate Real Estate owners who are being assaulted not by both the joe schmoes of the Twitterverse and by city councilors for CityGate’s street level video signage, are taking due notice. BB&T and PNC Bank, with their little bitty tower-top signs, are probably also noticing.
Not only is the sign “not in keeping with the neighborhood”, the logo’s vertical alignment is too low in the red billboard to be fully seen from the south (see photos). Whether exiting Memorial Auditorium or entering the city from South Saunders Street, there is no good place to view the sign due to its layout.
Hopefully Red Hat will notice the problems with their sign and correct it. I’m all for tasteful signage, and don’t want a bad sign to cause a knee-jerk response from lawmakers that would would restrict the good signs.
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