Have you ever paid attention to business signs on the highway? Was it when you were driving along the freeway in unfamiliar territory or only when the needle on your fuel gauge was dipping towards empty? Do you have any idea why these signs exist or who takes care of them? If you’re struggling to figure out this tidbit of Oregon trivia, Oregon Travel Experience would like to shed some light on the subject.
Oregon was one of the first states in the US to adopt highway business logo signs—those colorful logos mounted onto big blue signs with white lettering—and that signal how near you are to the next gas station or burger joint, and what number exit to take.
Exactly when did these signs sprout along the Oregon Interstate system? The year was 1972—the year our unique state agency was formed to handle the installation and permit process for these revolutionary signs. The new signs were meant to reduce highway billboard clutter in compliance with Lady Bird Johnson’s Highway Beautification Act.
So what’s so special about a mundane prolific blue and white highway business sign that it deserves a blog post? Try navigating without one! Sure, you could use your in-dash GPS (if you have one), your mobile phone (if you’re conveniently pulled over in a safe spot and can tap into Siri’s database for a place to eat lunch), or enlist your trip co-pilot to plug-in a Google map search. But what if it’s just you, the dog and the highway? How will you know where to fill up the tank or use your bonus points at a favorite hotel?
In our state, all you need to do is pay attention to the blue and white logo signs. Oregon Travel Experience signs for all kinds of essential travel services: fuel, food, lodging, camp and RV sites, and attractions. And it’s not just the big chain businesses that take out space and permits—any size business can display their logo. So if you want to find a unique travel experience, OTE’s signs are a bit like breadcrumbs—just follow them to a new place and discover a truly “off-the-map” local business.
Are you a business needing to grow your travel-customer base?
Permits for a highway business sign are based on hours of operation, type of business category, space availability, sign density (how many signs are already located near your business), and traffic density among other criteria. It’s not as difficult as it might seem to have your very own logo sign, and our friendly office staff will help walk you through the process.
You can read more about how to apply for highway business logo signs or other smaller “off-Interstate” signs on our website and the Business Signs Frequently Asked Questions Page at: https://oregontic.com/for-businesses/sign-programs/ You can also call us toll free, at 1-800-574-9397 or locally at 503-373-0086 and ask to speak with our Sign Operations Assistant Sue VanHandel.