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A sketch of one of the recently installed signs.

A fresh wave of dis­content has spread among coun­cilmen, cit­izens, and stu­dents over what they say is unnec­es­sarily small let­tering on the recently installed welcome signs, which read “Home of Hillsdale College,” making it dif­ficult for passing motorists to read.

At an Oct. 3 city council meeting, Coun­cilman Bruce Sharp said he was unable to read the signs clearly when he first drove past them and  he expected other people vis­iting Hillsdale have the same expe­rience.

“They don’t stand out like the old signs did, so I can under­stand there’s going to be some inter­esting com­ments thrown our way, because they do look dif­ferent. Every­thing about them is small com­pared to the old signs,” Sharp said.

Since Sharp’s com­ments at the meeting, stu­dents and members of the Hillsdale com­munity have com­plained about the new signs’ design on social media.

Senior Sarah Reinsel, the graphic designer for the Hillsdale Forum, said the new signs’ fonts are visually jarring, which she said may account for part of the reason people dislike them.

“The size of ‘His­toric Hillsdale’ is way too big, so the sign just kind of glares at you,” she said. “It also doesn’t read very nicely, because the scripted ‘His­toric’ typeface com­petes with and detracts from the serifed ‘Hillsdale’ typeface.”

Reinsel also said the graphics make the signs appear asym­metric.

“The little Central Hall graphic in the middle of ‘Home of Hillsdale College’ makes the entire bottom line look off center. This empha­sizes the sign’s dis­pro­por­tionate typog­raphy even more,” she said.

City Coun­cilman Adam Stockford said he dis­agrees with anyone dis­pleased by the new signs’ appear­ances. He said Hillsdale has more pro­fes­sional and appealing welcome signs in com­parison to sur­rounding towns.

“I drive into every single town in South Central Michigan and Northwest Ohio, and our signs are as good as the signs as I’ve seen any­where else,” he said. “Most cities just use those green MDOT signs, so I think ours are impressive — I like them a lot.”

Dis­content first erupted among cit­izens when the city council decided to replace the old welcome signs with the current ones last spring. The city council offered upset cit­izens a com­promise for the unpopular decision in Sept., saying that if cit­izens inde­pen­dently organize a com­mittee to put an addi­tional “It’s the people” sign next to or near the “Home of Hillsdale College” signs, the city will not attempt to impede their efforts.

Until someone forms such a com­mittee, the signs will remain as they stand now.